Tag Archives: housing

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.

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.

It’s (almost) trivia time!

Trivia Night

Registration is open for HAND’s third-annual Trivia Night fundraiser, scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the Embassy Suites in Noblesville.

As in the past, trivia teams test their wits with five rounds of general trivia questions. The top-scoring team will win prizes, of course, and this year we’re also rewarding the team with the most spirit.

We’ll provide a pasta buffet and non-alcoholic beverages, and you can belly up to a cash bar for something stronger.

Where: Embassy Suites Noblesville, 13700 Conference Center Drive South

When: 7-10 p.m. Feb. 28 (doors open at 6)

How much: $200 for a team of eight, $100 for a team of four, or $25 for an individual in search of a team

Everyone also has a chance to “win” silent auction items and score a fabulous raffle prize! (pending license approval) Please note: raffle tickets can only be purchased with cash, checks or debit cards, so come prepared.

All proceeds benefit HAND.

GET TICKETS NOW

Please join us in thanking our event sponsors:

Breathe Easy Hamilton County logo

Contact Andrea Davis to discuss sponsorship opportunities.