M FINE ON SPRING-1 (copy)

New Hope opened the M. Fine building on Spring Street in Jeffersonville in 2018 to provide affordable housing to seniors and people with disabilities. A recent grant means 33 new or rehabilitated units throughout Southern Indiana. 

SOUTHERN INDIANA — A recent grant from the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) will mean new access to affordable housing for some lower- or moderate-income or senior residents in Southern and Central Indiana.

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority recently awarded $14 million to nine Indiana counties to create or preserve 10 affordable housing complexes through the 2018-2019 Home Investment Partnership program.

Just under half of the funding has been awarded to New Hope Development Services, Inc. in Southern Indiana, which will build or create 33 new units in Jeffersonville and Scottsburg. Once completed, New Hope will have 519 units of affordable housing. New Hope currently provides services to 20 counties and has housing in five. 

From this round, New Hope secured $6,590,950 — the most the organization has ever received for this particular grant. Of this, $1,035,000 will go to the seventh and final phase of Aberdeen Woods in Jeffersonville; $1,509,000 will go to new construction of 11 units at Highland Woods in Scottsburg; $1,930,000 to 16 rehabilitated units in Scottsburg and $2 million to renovate 39 units at River's Edge in Clinton in Vermillion County.

"We are gratified that these developments were approved for funding," James Bosley, New Hope president and CEO said in a news release. "The demand for affordable housing for seniors in particular is increasing, and we are pleased to be able to meet this need in the communities that we serve."

Three of the New Hope projects — six new units in the seventh phase of Aberdeen Woods in Jeffersonville and upgrades or new construction of 27 units at two sites in Scottsburg — are expected to start mid- to late summer. Some of the residents, specifically in Jeffersonville, could be in as early as December.

Of the Southern Indiana units, Aberdeen Woods and Highland Woods are for seniors 55 and up or people with disabilities, and Highland Place will be multi-family homes.

Bosley said there has been increasing need for seniors to have access to affordable housing over recent years, as Baby Boomers age.

"With the Baby Boomer generation, you've got more and more people who fulfilled the American dream and bought a home and now that home is falling into disrepair," he said. What homes such as Aberdeen, or downtown Jeffersonville's M.Fine does, he said, is provide independent living in a way that's affordable to those seniors with now-limited incomes.

What a renter pays is based on IHCDA's scale of Area Median Income; this means that whatever the median income in a particular community, the renter's income is 30 to 60 percent of that local average, and their rent is based on that.

Bosley said a two-bedroom unit in Scottsburg could be roughly $600 per month on average, for the person earning 60 percent or less of the median. At Aberdeen in Jeffersonville, a three-bedroom unit may be on average about $750 per month for those in that higher earning rate of 60 percent or less.

"Across rural parts of Indiana, there is a shortage of safe, decent and affordable housing," Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said in a news release. "This funding will not only support the creation or preservation of affordable units, but leverage additional investment into these communities."

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.