INDIANAPOLIS – At the Indiana Housing Conference awards luncheon earlier today, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) awarded four Indiana properties with the Lt. Governor's Excellence in Affordable Housing Awards. Presented to the most outstanding properties in four categories, these awards celebrate the best in Indiana affordable housing development.
“I’m pleased to congratulate the development teams of the four properties selected for their innovative approaches and effective solutions to providing affordable housing in Indiana,” said Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb who serves as the board chair for IHCDA. “Through their planning and collaboration these new developments are great examples of how affordable housing can positively impact a community.”
IHCDA accepted nominations for the Lt. Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Affordable Housing. IHCDA and the Indiana Affordable Housing Council (IAHC) organized a six-member judging panel to evaluate the nominations.
This year’s award recipients are:
Urban Housing – The Barton Block
Insight Development Corporation (Insight), the nonprofit development arm of the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA), completed the development of the “Barton Block”, the re-imagination of the southern-half of the 500 block of Massachusetts Avenue. The Barton Block is a mixed-use development including 19,000 square feet of new retail space and 125 units of new affordable and market-rate housing, and 372 rehabbed public housing units located in the John J. Barton Apartments. Despite pressure to close and sell the Barton Tower, Insight and IHA forged ahead and developed a concept to improve existing public housing, provide new affordable housing and leverage private funds to build market rate apartments and retail space. Developing and implementing a concept that turned underused land owned by IHA into a vibrant mix of housing, open space, and retail while improving existing public housing is a bold accomplishment.
Rural Housing – Canal Commons
Canal Commons is a 44-unit affordable housing project which features multi-family housing in two Delphi locations. The two sites were chosen to help revitalize the community of Delphi. The project occupies a combination of adaptive reuse of two downtown buildings at 113- 117 E. Main St. consisting of 16 units and 28 new construction units at 503-511 N. Market St which was formerly a blighted utility building in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Residents benefit from on-site services provided by Area IV and others, including Medicare counseling, home-delivered meals program for seniors and low-cost medical equipment loans.
Senior Housing – Hawthorne Hills Senior Apartments
RealAmerica recognized the necessity and importance of bringing affordable housing to the ashville community after the region experienced flooding in 2008. By 2009, they had set up roots by opening their first senior community, Willow Manor. Since its opening, its averaged 98% - 100% occupancy, which was a clear indicator to their President, Mrs. Ronda Weybright that they had only scratched the surface for the need of affordable senior housing. Then came, Hawthorne Hills Senior development, a twin sister development to Willow Manor providing 57 units in an environment where seniors can live more affordable, productive and independent lives while aging in place among family and friends. The building reflects the beauty of a country lodge with its 100% brick, stone and cement board exterior that was built to Emerald Rating National Green Building standards.
Special Needs Housing – Walnut Commons
Three years before the grand opening of Walnut Commons, Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler proclaimed the people said “no” to this development. However, through the ongoing partnership of Chicago developer Daveri Development Group, Meridian Health Services, CSH and IHCDA, Walnut Commons went from concept to reality to provide 44-units of permanent supportive housing in Muncie, Indiana. The building is a three-story, energy-efficient, brick and fiber-cement siding structure that includes a gym, computer lab and many other amenities normally found in market rate developments. Permanent supportive housing is an evidence-based model that provides subsidized, community-based housing that targets very low income or homeless individuals, includes collaborative or wraparound services including health care, case management and skill development. The residents own their own full service dwelling and have leases and tenant protections.
Two additional awards were presented at the conference:
Outstanding Resident Volunteer Award – John “Billy” Young
Billy Young was homeless until he found a permanent home at Crawford Apartments in Bloomington approximately two years ago. He is grateful for his new home and “pays it forward” in numerous ways. Billy restores bicycles, then donates them to the homeless. So far, in the past year, he has restored and donated an estimated 100 bicycles. He is a “one-man workshop” but word has spread of his incredible efforts as many people have donated parts and bicycles for him to repair. He also volunteers for the “Re-Entry Collective” to facilitate re-entry into society for ex-offenders. He even volunteered for Habitat’s Re-Store. Furthermore, he serves on the Board of Directors of Shalom Community Center, as the Homeless Representative. Shalom is a nonprofit organization providing numerous services to Bloomington’s homeless.
IAHC Leadership Award - Eric Frey
Eric Frey has been a CDBG Certified Grant Administrator since 1996. He has worked as a planner for a civil engineering firm, for the Indiana Department of Commerce’s Community Development Division and Delaware County Commissioners. He has 24 years of experience in the acquisition and administration of federal, state and private grant programs. He is very involved and an active member of the Columbus, Indiana community both as a business person and in his personal life. In his nomination it was said that Eric has spent his entire adult life to bettering housing and communities. Throughout his career at least 13 different Indiana communities have benefited from his work.
Also announced during the conference was the two participants in the Moving Forward 2.0 program. The Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs and Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (CAGI), who are both Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in Indiana, will work with developers to create affordable, energy efficient affordable housing along with transportation options.