More than 200 central Indiana community leaders gathered at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Noblesville on May 3 to hear from experts working to address a growing need for suburban workforce housing.
HAND’s 2023 Suburban Housing Conference, presented by the Hamilton County Community Foundation, was the Noblesville-based nonprofit’s ninth annual event. It attracted elected officials, political candidates, municipal planners, housing developers, funding partners, nonprofit executives, community activists, and others concerned about the widening gap between household incomes and housing costs.
HCCF President & CEO Tim Kilian set the tone for the educational day, which began with a panel of local developers discussing how they navigate obstacles like high land costs and restrictive zoning ordinances. Invest Hamilton County CEO Mike Thibideau led the discussion among developers Marchelle Berry from Radiant CDC, Alison Birge from Village Capital Corp., Nate Harris from Buckingham Cos., and Bryan Stumpf from 11th Street Development.
“Quick Hits on Housing” included an update on how housing-related bills fared in the just-completed General Assembly, from Prosperity Indiana’s Andrew Bradley, as well as an overview of the regional housing study the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization is working on, from the MPO’s Andrea Miller. Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman provided a brief update on the county’s plans to invest $5 million in federal ARPA funds to acquire land and build infrastructure for an attainable housing development.
Over lunch, Chris Watts, Vice President of Public Policy at the Indiana Association of Realtors, provided a real-time report on state and local real estate trends as the market recovers from its 2022 slowdown. One fascinating data point: In 2023, Hamilton County has had more million-dollar home sales (58) than home sales under $200,000 (38).
After lunch, attendees dug into three breakout session topics: Community Land Trusts, Modular Construction, and Creative Partnerships.
The event would not have been possible without the support of its sponsors. In addition to the Hamilton County Community Foundation, sponsors included:
Keystone: Merchants Bank of Indiana and Noblesville Housing Authority
Supporting: Breathe Easy Hamilton County, Family Promise of Hamilton County, Intend Indiana, PNC Bank
Table: C&H Capital LLC, Church Church Hittle + Antrim, City of Carmel, City of Westfield, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Glick Philanthropies, Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, Invest Hamilton County, Kittle Property Group, Lake City Bank, Multi-Family Construction Services, MIBOR REALTOR Association, Old Town, Stenz Construction, Woda Cooper Cos., Westfield-Washington Township
Half-Table: Brenner Design, Duke Energy, Meyer Najem Construction
Snack: Peterson Architecture