Tag Archives: affordable housing

HAND enters new year building on 2018 successes

Home Place Gardens ribbon cutting

Anticipation is building along with HAND’s momentum as we work to continue growing the organization’s impact in 2019. Here are just some of the highlights from last year, which wouldn’t be possible without our many supporters:

— HAND extended its reach outside of Hamilton County, purchasing 17 duplexes in nearby Boone County. Now called Hickory Commons, the rental community includes 33 leasable units on two cul-de-sacs just north of downtown Lebanon. HAND is investing more than $2 million to acquire and renovate the apartments, which were build in the 1950s.

— HAND opened Home Place Gardens, its first rental community in Carmel. Located on 2.4 acres south of 106th Street between College Avenue and the Monon Greenway, the development includes eight one- and two-bedroom duplex apartments for seniors ages 55 and older and two three-bedroom detached homes for families. About 100 people attended a June ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house. (See photo, above.)

— Ohio-based developer Woda Cooper Companies Inc. purchased the former Adams Elementary School in Sheridan, which it will transform into 32 affordable 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. The historic gym also will be preserved, becoming community recreation space. HAND is a consultant on the project.

— HAND helped to establish the Hamilton County Home Repair Partnership, a collaboration that includes Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County, Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County, SERVE Noblesville and Christmas in Action. In its first year, about 50 low- and moderate-income homeowners—many of them seniors—received critical repairs or modifications that improve their home’s accessibility, efficiency and affordability.

— HAND engaged a consultant and solicited public feedback to complete a comprehensive housing needs assessment for Hamilton County. Conducted every five years, the data-based analysis is used to determine local housing needs and to identify a strategy for meeting them. While final report is still being fine-tuned, preliminary results released at HAND’s September housing conference found that Hamilton County has a significantly larger percentage of cost-burdened households than the Indianapolis metropolitan area as a whole.

— HAND also received several significant grants throughout the year, including $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Carmel for the playground at Home Place Gardens and $7,500 from Duke Energy Foundation for the Housing Needs Assessment.

(See our full list of 2018 sponsors and supporters here, and contact Andrea Davis if you’d like to join the list for 2019.)

Hamilton County’s Section 8 wait list to open for first time since ’14

The Noblesville Housing Authority will be accepting pre-applications online for its Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List from 9 a.m. Oct. 2, 2018, through 4 p.m. Oct. 9, 2018.

Pre-applications must be submitted online at www.waitlistcheck.com/IN2939. There is no fee to apply.

Applicants will be able to submit the required information from any computer, tablet, or smart phone with online access. Status information regarding placement on the list will be available online within 10 calendar days after the closing date. Instructions regarding obtaining status information are provided during the online application process.

No paper applications will be accepted. Applicants must apply during the period the list is open for applications.

Reasonable Accommodation: It is the policy of the Noblesville Housing Authority to provide reasonable accommodations to those persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in its housing programs. To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the Housing Authority at (317) 773-5110 ext. 101 no later than 4 p.m. Sept. 26. Persons with Limited English Proficiency will be offered competent interpretation services free of charge upon request.

“We are excited to be opening our waiting list so that we can provide housing assistance to more families and the elderly who are in need,” said NHA Executive Director Aimee Jacobsen. “Our new process for accepting pre-applications online will allow the greatest possible access to apply and help our agency efficiently meet the high demand for applications we anticipate. We have developed an application process that affords every interested applicant the opportunity to apply.”

Due to limited funding availability, not all applicants will be placed on the waiting list. Pre-applications will be selected and ordered using a random lottery system, keeping the process equitable and fair.

The time and date the application is submitted online has no bearing on whether it will be selected for the waiting list. There is no  advantage to applying immediately after the list opens. Applicants can apply online using a computer, tablet or smart phone with internet access anytime during the time the wait list is open.

Online applications will automatically be sorted by Noblesville Housing Authority preferences. Applicants who live or work in Hamilton County, are elderly or disabled, are veterans, or who live or work in Indiana will receive a preference on the list and are therefore encouraged to apply. After the pre-applications are sorted by preference, the online system will randomly select 200 of the pre-applications using a lottery system.

Applicants may verify if they were selected by logging in with their unique code online at www.housinglistcheck.com/IN2939 within 10 calendar days after the closing date.

The Housing Choice Voucher program is the federal government’s primary program that allows very low-income families to choose and lease or purchase safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.

The Housing Choice Voucher program covers the rent portion that exceeds approximately 30 percent of an eligible family’s monthly income. Any and all income-eligible families may submit a pre-application.

Acceptance and/or assistance are based on income verification, eligibility requirements, preference factors, and a lottery selection process. Maximum income levels, based on family size are as follows:

Family Size / Income Limit

  1. $27,050
  2. $30,900
  3. $34,750
  4. $38,600
  5. $41,700
  6. $44,800
  7. $47,900
  8. $51,000

Pre-applications will be removed from the wait list if any of the following are determined after the initial interview:

  • Drug or violent criminal activity within the last five years. If any drug activity, you may remain on the list if you have completed or are in a drug rehabilitation program at the time of the initial interview.
  • Life-time registered sex offender
  • Persons convicted of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine
  • If any family member has been evicted/terminated from a federally-assisted housing program in the past five years.
  • Criminal background checks and screening for previous tenant history in assisted housing is conducted at the time of the eligibility interview for all adult household members.

Questions? Please contact the Noblesville Housing Authority directly at (317) 773-5110.

HAND hires consultant, schedules public meetings on housing needs

HAND Inc. has engaged Novogradac & Co. LLP, a national accounting and consulting firm, to complete the 2018 Hamilton County Housing Needs Assessment. This data-based analysis, which is conducted twice a decade, is used to determine local housing needs and to identify a strategy for meeting them.

In addition to collecting and evaluating demographic data at the county level, the consultant will solicit input from key stakeholders during a series of public open houses scheduled for the week of July 9. Representatives of local businesses, nonprofit agencies and government entities are invited to attend the meetings to share their thoughts on the state of housing in our community — and how it impacts their organizations.

The two-hour meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 9-11 a.m. July 10, Grand Park Events Center, 19000 Grand Park Blvd., Westfield
  • 1-3 p.m. July 10, Sheridan Public Library, 103 W. First St., Sheridan
  • 2-4 p.m. July 11, Carmel City Hall, 1 Civic Square, Carmel
  • 1-3 p.m. July 12, Arcadia Town Hall, 208 W. Main St., Arcadia
  • 9-11 a.m. July 13, Fishers City Hall, 1 Municipal Drive, Fishers
  • 2-4 p.m. July 13, Noblesville City Hall, 16. S. 10th St., Noblesville

Participants can arrive anytime during the scheduled hours to provide feedback, and an online survey will be available through the end of July.

“The Housing Needs Assessment is a valuable tool, because it allows communities to get a clearer picture of the types and magnitude of their housing challenges and opportunities,” said Rachel Denton, a partner in Novogradac’s Kansas City, Mo., office. “This report will allow leaders and residents of Hamilton County to make better-informed decisions on how to best allocate their resources.”

Results from the study are expected to be unveiled at HAND’s annual sustainable housing conference on Sept. 21. Registration for that event is expected to open July 30.

“HAND has been working to provide quality housing options in Hamilton County for 15 years, and we know that the need is growing along with the population,” said Executive Director Jennifer M. Miller. “Now we will have current data to help us tell that story in an even more compelling way.”

The 2018 Housing Needs Assessment is funded by grants from The Legacy Fund, Duke Energy Foundation and the Noblesville Housing Authority. The report is required of communities that receive federal Community Development Block Grant funding in order to determine local needs.

Founded as Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development in 2003, HAND has developed seven affordable rental communities throughout Hamilton County, leasing a total of 106 units to low-income individuals and families. This year, it acquired 17 duplexes in Lebanon, extending its reach to nearby Boone County. Its mission is to be a leader in promoting prosperity and diversity in its communities by providing quality housing opportunities.

Novogradac is a national accounting and consulting firm with over 600 employees and partners in more than 25 offices. Specialty practice areas include tax, audit and consulting services for tax-credit-assisted affordable housing, community revitalization, rehabilitation of historic properties and renewable energy.

HAND proceeding with plans for Home Place

Construction is expected to begin this summer on Home Place Gardens, a 10-unit affordable housing community HAND plans to build along 106th Street in Home Place.

The Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 on Feb. 27 to approve a zoning variance for the project. Next, the Technical Advisory Committee will review the development proposal.

Plans call for building a total of six structures on 2.4 acres east of College Avenue: four 1- and 2-bedroom duplexes for seniors and two detached 3-bedroom homes for clients referred by Prevail Inc. of Hamilton County.

The zoning variance allows HAND to erect all of the buildings on a single parcel, rather than platting six separate lots. With 4.2 residential units per acre, Home Place Gardens meets the density requirements of the existing R-3 zoning; the ordinance allows as many as 5 units per acre.

Next month, HAND will submit its development plan to Carmel’s Technical Advisory Committee. TAC members, who represent utilities and various municipal agencies, identify any issues that must be addressed.

HAND already has agreed to tweak some details of the $2.3 million-plus project after receiving feedback from neighbors during public meetings held in November and January. Trash will be collected from residential toters, for example, rather than a commercial dumpster. The organization also is working to improve the look of the two duplexes that will face 106th Street.

Construction will begin after TAC approval, likely by mid-summer. The project does not require Plan Commission review, according to Carmel’s Department of Community Services.

Founded in 2003, HAND addresses the housing needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The organization owns six properties in Hamilton County, providing a total of 96 rental units. Most are restricted to residents ages 55 and older.

Noblesville affordable housing project tops tax-credit wait list

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority did not award Low Income Housing Tax Credits to fund construction of HAND’s proposed Noblesville Granary Elevator and Lofts on Feb. 23, but the project still could proceed.

Just 16 of the 62 development proposals submitted to the IHCDA in November received the highly-sought-after tax credits. Another five—including the Granary—were placed on a waiting list and could could receive unused credits later this year.

“There is a still a strong likelihood that the project will move forward,” said HAND Executive Director Jennifer Miller.

HAND wants to build 56 affordable apartments on the site of the former Noblesville grain elevator along 8th Street in the city’s Southwest Quad. The $10.5 million project would be funded in part by selling the tax credits to investors.

Due to uncertainty in the equity market, IHCDA did not award all available tax credits, holding back a portion for funded projects that may need more. Tax credits that have not been reserved by mid-September, however, will be awarded to wait-listed proposals starting with the Granary.

Two other Hamilton County proposals also were placed on the wait list.

Read HAND’s full press release here.