Home Repair Gets Critical Support

HAND’s Home Repair Initiative Gets Critical Support! 

HAND received a commitment from the for $350,000 to help seniors and low-income homeowners in Sheridan, Cicero, Arcadia and Atlanta. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) awarded HAND CDBG funds specifically targeted to these communities.

The investments will assist seniors with home accessibility modifications, provide necessary weatherization and exterior improvements for eligible families. “These projects tend to have an impact on the whole community as the upkeep and improvement in one home is really an investment in the neighborhood,” explains Nate Lichti, Executive Director of HAND.

HAND’s Board of Directors announced its intention of starting the Home Repair program after conducting a comprehensive needs assessment in 2013. Every community in Hamilton County expressed a need and a desire to assist homeowners with repairs, especially in anticipation of the growing demand from seniors for modifications to make their homes accessible. Another grant, also announced this week, from the Central Indiana Senior Fund, a CICF Fund, will be used to assist 15 Seniors with home modifications.

The home repair program – Helping HAND – already has 25 applicants from throughout Hamilton County and many budding partnerships to help stretch and expand the program’s impact. “There are so many potential community partners interested in supporting this initiative, the generosity and support in Hamilton County is terrific,” reports Lichti.

Notably, Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County is engaging volunteers in the revitalization of neighborhoods, and the City of Noblesville has convened several meetings with organizations and churches also doing this work. HAND hopes to complement these efforts by providing capital to help purchase materials for volunteer driven projects.

Helping HAND received early support from the Legacy Fund Community Foundation, a CICF Affiliate, the Sheridan Fund, a fund of Legacy Fund, and Lake City Bank, each contributed up-front support that enabled HAND to compete at the state for the funds. “It’s really an example of ways we can leverage local investment,” explained Lichti.

Earlier in the year, the County Commissioners pledged county-administered CDBG funds to complete repairs in Noblesville, Fishers, Westfield and Carmel. These funds have not been completely allocated because HAND really needed the state funding to make the program viable.

HAND expects to manage approximately 20 home repairs a year when the program really gets running, and they will continue to develop partnerships to enhance and improve its impact.