Tag Archives: affordable housing

HAND wait list reopens Feb. 1

waiting list sign

Members of low-income households interested in renting one of HAND’s affordable apartments can apply to join the waiting list starting Feb. 1, 2022.

The waiting list has been closed to new applicants since 2018, when more than 200 people were waiting for an income-restricted rental home. Fewer than 100 remain on the list, and HAND is in the process of building properties in Tipton and Fishers.

HAND owns a total of 137 rental units in Hamilton and Boone counties. It is adding five units of senior housing in Fishers and 11 units for families in Fishers.

Most of the apartments are income-restricted, meaning residents can’t earn more than 60 percent of area median income. In Hamilton and Boone counties in 2021, that was $34,320 per year for a single tenant, $39,180 for a two-person household, and $48,960 for a family of four.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development also sets maximum rents each year. In Hamilton and Boone, those limits range from $430 per month for an efficiency apartment to about $1,575 for a 5-bedroom unit.

All HAND residents are subject to a rigorous approval process that includes criminal background and credit checks, as well as income verification. All residents must have income.

If you are interested in applying for the waiting list, please download the Quick Application here. and return it on or after Feb. 1, 2022, via email or in person at the HAND leasing office, 901 Basil Lane, Sheridan.

All qualified applicants will be placed on the waiting list(s) of their choice in the order their completed applications were received. Applications submitted before Feb. 1, 2022, will not be considered.

Partner Feature: SouthPointe Village meets need for affordable, accessible housing

How’s this for evidence that Fishers needs more housing the city’s growing workforce can afford? It took RealAmerica Cos. just two weeks to lease up its new 62-unit SouthPointe Village apartment community.

SouthPointe Village’s success is testament to the demand for beautiful, affordable, accessible homes for those who want to live, work, and play in Fishers.

A quarter of the apartments at SouthPointe Village are reserved for residents with disabilities, and the entire property was designed to be accessible. Residents also have access to four on-site service providers that serve the disabled population — a first for Fishers and Indiana.

Fishers was an ideal location for SouthPointe Village because Hamilton Southeastern Schools have excellent programs for individuals with disabilities. But after graduation, they struggle to find affordable housing with services to help them live independently.

“Fishers has great resources, but we don’t have affordable housing for our workforce who support folks with disabilities,” said Kelly Hartman, co-chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability and founder of Outside the Box. “And we don’t have the opportunity to have folks with disabilities integrated into the community.”

RealAmerica stepped in and partnered with four local service providers to provide on-site services at SouthPointe Village for persons with disabilities. Janus Developmental Services, Outside the Box, Insights, and Opportunities for Positive Growth are working together to help residents with life skills, education, employment training, and independent living. Additionally, Janus has on-site offices on the first floor of SouthPointe to provide easy accessibility for residents and their families.

“We’ve had strong advocacy for folks with disabilities, and we know that housing is a critical shortage for those individuals,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “Integrated into SouthPointe will be units that are tailor-made for individuals with disabilities, and this demonstrates a sensitivity to the community and the context for why we’re developing these projects. That in itself is a testament to both RealAmerica’s and the community’s desire to develop something that is accretive to our community.”

At SouthPointe Village, 25 percent of homes were aside for individuals with disabilities, and the entire building is accessible (including raised and lowered garden beds, sidewalks around each community amenity, elevators, automated doors on both ends of the building, and more).

Located at 11245 Lantern Road in Fishers’ thriving Nickel Plate District, SouthPointe is in a prime location for persons with disabilities to be close to employment and their families.

Cecilia Coble, former Fishers City Council President and co-chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, said, “A lot of families, like myself, want to be close to their loved one with a disability. And unfortunately, with the lack of affordable housing, it’s hard for loved ones to be close to their parents and grandparents and remain in the community in which they grew up. So, we’re really excited and proud to be a part of this project with RealAmerica.”  

SouthPointe Village is a four-story, 62-unit property, offering residents two different open-concept, 1- and 2-bedroom floor plans. All apartments include full-sized, in-unit washers and dryers, luxury plank flooring, built-in kitchen appliances, a balcony or patio, upgraded soundproof flooring and windows, ceiling fans, energy-efficient features, and free in-unit internet service.

Other featured amenities include a dog park and pet spa, an on-site fitness room, an indoor playground and reading corner, sky deck, community room with a kitchen for entertaining and gathering, community garden, bike share program, craft room, computer resource center, and 529 plan funding for resident children. 

The official grand opening took place on Friday, Oct. 8, and included speeches from the City Council, Executive Director of IHCDA, RealAmerica President and Owner Ronda Shrewsbury, and service providers. The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, vendor fair, apartment tours, and an on-site food truck. The event was well-attended by the community, officials, and residents.  

SouthPointe Village would not be possible without RealAmerica’s proven commitment to quality, affordable housing, the support of the City of Fishers, the City Council, Mayor Scott Fadness, the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, and the service providers’ support and partnership. Additional financial partners include Boston Financial and Merchants Capital. 

For more information about SouthPointe Village, visit homeatsouthpointevillage.com. To learn more about RealAmerica’s services and newest properties, visit www.RealAmericaLLC.com or find RealAmerica LLC on Facebook and LinkedIn.

HAND awarded $2M for planned workforce housing development in Fishers

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Board of Directors voted today to award HAND Inc. a $1.5 million grant from its HOME Investment Partnerships program and a $500,000 loan from its Development Fund to support construction of 11 rental cottages in Fishers.

HAND, a nonprofit community housing development organization based in Noblesville, plans to invest more than $3 million to build Cumberland Cottages. Hamilton County previously allocated $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to HAND for property acquisition.

HAND will continue to seek additional funding for the project, which will also utilize a loan from Citizens State Bank.

Cumberland Cottages is planned for almost 2 acres of mostly vacant land at the southwest corner of Cumberland Road and 141st Street in Fishers. Earlier this year, the Fishers City Council agreed to rezone the property to allow for the development.

Plans call for building four two-bedroom units and seven three-bedroom units in what’s known as a cottage court layout, clustered around shared green space. Six of the 11 cottages will be reserved for residents who earn no more than 60 percent of area median income.

This will be HAND’s first rental property in Fishers. It owns eight rental communities in Hamilton and Boone counties—in Carmel, Cicero, Noblesville, Sheridan, and Lebanon—leasing almost 140 affordable apartments to low-income residents. Construction of a ninth, in Tipton, is expected to start this fall.

“We know that residents throughout Hamilton County need a wide range of housing options—including some affordable ones—and HAND is thrilled to be able to help,” said Executive Director Andrea Davis.

As part of its application for HOME funding, HAND signed service agreements with more than a dozen local nonprofits that may be able to assist residents of Cumberland Cottages. Tenants will receive information about community partners’ services at move-in.

Construction is expected to begin early next year, following the completion of a federal environmental review and the city of Fishers’ approval of the final development plan.

HAND has enlisted the help of several local firms to develop Cumberland Cottages. Project partners include David Rausch Studio, Jung Design, Context Design, Weihe Engineers, and Meyer Najem Construction.

New group drafting comprehensive housing strategy for Hamilton County

Blueprint

What started as a few nonprofit and government leaders working together to keep Hamilton County residents housed during the COVID-19 pandemic has grown into a broader alliance of organizations focused on developing a countywide housing strategy.

The immediate fallout from the pandemic revealed that many Hamilton County households are living on the edge, one medical crisis, job furlough or family emergency away from disaster—in large part because housing costs are increasing more quickly than incomes.

Millions of dollars in public and private grants for emergency rental and utility assistance programs have helped many households avert disaster and start to catch up, but the federal eviction moratorium ends July 31, putting others at risk of being displaced.

And those short-term solutions don’t do anything to address the long-term problem: Hamilton County needs a wider range of housing options that are affordable to all residents, regardless of age, income, or occupation.

HAND Inc., which has been building and preserving affordable housing here since 2003, is one of the Hamilton County Housing Collaborative’s founding members, along with Family Promise of Hamilton County, the Westfield-Washington Township Trustee’s Office, and the Noblesville Housing Authority. Dozens of others have joined the alliance in the past few months as the group’s focus has shifted to the future.

Now the Housing Collaborative is soliciting proposals for a Housing Needs Assessment & Strategy Study, which members will use to make data-based recommendations about how to increase the county’s attainable housing inventory. Organizers also hope to incorporate findings from the City of Noblesville’s 2016 Housing Analysis and a pending 2021 update. The City of Fishers just selected a consultant for a housing study that’s expected to take eight months to complete.

Ultimately, the Collaborative hopes to make a case for additional public and private investment in attainable housing to meet Hamilton County’s needs, both now and in the future.

One potential source of funding: tens of millions of dollars of federal funding awarded to Hamilton County and the cities of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, and Westfield through the American Rescue Plan. The smaller towns of Arcadia, Atlanta, Cicero, and Sheridan also are slated to receive ARP funding, from the state’s allocation.

The money is intended to help communities recover from the impact of COVID-19, and affordable housing development is specifically mentioned as an eligible use in U.S. Treasury Department guidelines.

Hamilton County has not yet determined how to spend its $65 million allocation, but a committee that includes all three County Commissioners and three rotating members of the County Council are putting together an “investment plan” for the first of two expected installments. Once approved by the Board of Commissioners, the spending plan will be published on the county website.

HAND seeks proposals for 2021 Suburban Housing Conference sessions, panels

Tentatively titled Hot Topics in Housing, HAND’s seventh-annual Suburban Housing Conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, at the Embassy Suites in Noblesville.

This year, HAND Inc. is accepting session proposals and suggestions from you!

Professionals attending previous conferences included elected officials, local stakeholders, local nonprofits, for-profit housing developers, lenders, contractors and property managers.

We are seeking presenters to lead conversations on hot topics in suburban housing, such as:

  • Housing our local workforce
  • Attainable options
  • Suburban transportation
  • Quality of life
  • Suburban challenges like HOAs, aging housing stock and sprawl
  • Diversity & Equity

Criteria for presenters:

  • Presentations will be with all those in attendance (not a break-out)
  • Please state clear objectives of your presentation or panel
  • New and non-traditional ideas are encouraged!

Fill out the form here and submit it to propose speakers or topics. Submissions are due Monday, June 14, 2021.