IHDA is committed to expanding the capacity of underserved communities to address local housing needs and to recognize the valuable role affordable housing plays in local economic growth. When employers in Paris, Illinois considered moving to Indiana when their workforces could not find enough housing, Mayor Craig Smith worked with the Laborers’ Home Development Corporation and IHDA to develop the two-phased Maple Ridge Apartments. Thanks to the new development of affordable townhouses and apartments, those employers stayed in Paris and even expanded their facilities, saving and creating jobs for local residents. In FY2019, as demand for affordable housing for seniors grew, the City benefited from IHDA’s Community Revitalization Technical Assistance Program. With the help of IHDA’s Community Revitalization staff reviewing existing planning documentation and advising on scoring threshold requirements, the City secured the financing they needed to redevelop the former Paris High School into senior apartments. The rehabilitation will address a local housing need, allow Edgar County seniors to age in place, and return the 110-year-old landmark to productive use.
In FY2019, IHDA continued to encourage housing development and planning in underserved areas while making the financing and operation of affordable multifamily housing more streamlined and transparent. Key among the changes in the past fiscal year was the expansion of IHDA’s Community Revitalization Technical Assistance program. While IHDA has offered technical assistance to complement the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit process before, the Authority extended this approach for the first time to proactively assist smaller, rural communities that do not have the capacity to create and implement long-term housing plans. Technical assistance offers significant benefits by helping communities determine their actual needs regarding housing and community development, aiding in planning to meet those needs, and offering incentives that may attract developers and investors to formerly difficult markets.
Among other improvements to the multifamily application process, the Authority expanded the tools available to our development partners in their analyses of local markets and introduced the first public-facing, fully searchable map showing the location and status of all preliminary project assessments and applications, as well as active IHDA developments. Our multifamily and planning staff also piloted local and regional discussions to understand how the Authority’s programs are used throughout the state to refine our approach to these programs in the future. Together, these efforts resulted in a productive year as IHDA leveraged state and federal resources with access to private capital to finance 50 affordable rental developments containing 4,509 total units, all of which are designated for income-eligible families, seniors, or persons with disabilities.