Tag Archives: housing development

Study: Hamilton County becoming less affordable for more people

Given current funding and construction trends, it will take about 286 years to meet the current demand for income-based housing in Hamilton County.

That’s one of the takeaways in a new report from Indianapolis-based consultant Greenstreet, Ltd. Released at HAND’s Suburban Housing Conference on May 4, the 2022 Housing Study showed that Hamilton County is becoming less affordable to more people.

Stagnant incomes and growing home prices create affordability problems for most income groups, but especially for those households earning less than $98,000 (120 percent of area median income).

To address the issue of decreasing attainability, the study recommended Hamilton County stakeholders work together to reduce the cost of development, remove the social stigma attached to attainable housing, stabilize and support at-risk individuals and families, and increase funding for affordable homes.

The study was commissioned by the Noblesville Housing Authority on behalf of the Hamilton County Housing Collaborative, a coalition of 50-plus individuals representing dozens of organizations working to address the community’s housing needs.

As a group, the Collaborative believes that housing should be attainable for those who want to call Hamilton County home – during every stage of their lives – to uphold the economic well-being of Hamilton County. For that to be possible, the county needs a full continuum of housing products and prices.

This year, the study also included information about four specific strategies that could help improve the outlook for accomplishing that.

Click the highlighted text to read the 2022 Hamilton County Housing Study (and its Data Supplement) and learn more about Community Land Trusts, Housing Trust Funds, Public-Private-Philanthropic Partnerships, and Strategies to Increase & Diversify Housing.

County housing study, strategies to be unveiled at HAND Housing Conference

Hamilton County housing is becoming less affordable to more people, and without some real changes, businesses here will find it increasingly difficult to find and keep employees. 

These findings and more from Greenstreet, Ltd., will be released at HAND’s 2022 Suburban Housing Conference on Wednesday, May 4, beginning at 8 a.m.  The daylong event, presented by the Hamilton County Community Foundation, will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Noblesville. 

This year’s conference will unveil the results of a Hamilton County housing study commissioned by the Hamilton County Housing Collaborative (HCHC).  For example, the data shows that 18,735 low- and moderate-income households here are spending more than the recommended 30 percent of their income on housing, reducing funds available for other necessities. And rising housing costs also impact households earning more than the area median income. A family earning $97,920 annually, for example, can afford just 28 percent of new homes here and only 12 percent of current listings.

In addition to being the first to see study results, conference attendees will hear from local developers and urban planners about efforts to create a housing continuum in Hamilton County, and they’ll explore some specific strategies during interactive afternoon workshops.

“The Housing Collaborative believes that Hamilton County should have a full range of housing attainable for anyone who wants to call Hamilton County home—during every stage of their lives,” said Andrea Davis, HAND’s executive director. “Without a diverse housing inventory, the county risks its ability to expand its workforce, attract young adults looking for a place to settle, and keep seniors in their community of choice.”

At the conference, more than a dozen local leaders in the housing and economic development fields will dig into specific parts of the study. Every participant will leave the day understanding the need for more diverse and attainable housing, as well as actions they can take.

“Housing is one of the keys to the county’s economic well-being,” Davis said.

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.)

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.