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7/21/2005


Media Contact:

Justin Ohlemiller, [317] 327-6709

Mayor tours new apartments for homeless and low-income households on city’s Eastside

Colonial Park opens 66 more units; provides model for homelessness intervention


Indianapolis – Mayor Bart Peterson today joined representatives from Partners In Housing Development Corporation, community leaders and local residents on a tour of the completed final phase of Colonial Park, a rehabilitated apartment complex on the city’s near Eastside providing permanent housing and support services for chronically homeless and low-income individuals.

The final phase of the Colonial Park development, owned and managed by Partners In Housing, consists of 66 new units, half of which will house formerly homeless individuals. The remainder of these apartments will be reserved at very affordable rates for persons at or below 30 percent of the area median family income (which is just over $19,000 for a family of four). In total, Colonial Park features 106 units, all of which are being rented to very low-income households or chronically homeless individuals.

Support services, such as mental health counseling, job training and healthcare services, are also available onsite to aid residents achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.

"Colonial Park, with its multitude of services and quality housing, is truly a model development for homelessness intervention," said Mayor Peterson. "Thanks to this public/private partnership led by Partners In Housing, these residents, who have faced the hardships of homelessness, now have a safe, decent place to live and an opportunity to acquire the skills and tools necessary to succeed in life moving forward."

Colonial Park is a development supported by the Blueprint to End Homelessness, the city’s ambitious plan released in 2002 to end chronic homelessness in Indianapolis.

More than 15,000 people experience homelessness in Indianapolis each year. Another 45,000 people – men, women and children – are in housing crisis. Sadly, almost 4,500 children are homeless during the course of a year.

The Blueprint to End Homelessness calls for an approach that not only places chronically homeless individuals and families in affordable housing, but also works to prevent future homelessness by helping them obtain the skills and resources they need to remain in their current housing.

Colonial Park is the culmination of a public/private partnership involving several businesses, agencies and organizations. Project partners include the City of Indianapolis, Fifth Third Bank, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, the Indiana Department of Commerce, National City Bank, Union Planters Bank, Local Initiative Support Corporation, Home Depot, the Indianapolis Housing Agency, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, United Way of Central Indiana and the Lilly Endowment.

"With the aid of our partners, we are producing economically feasible housing for those people with the fewest financial resources," said Partners In Housing Executive Director Frank Hagaman. "We have proven that housing for very low-income people can be financially sound."

"The public and private sectors must continue to work together to achieve our goal of stemming the tide of homelessness in Indianapolis," said Mayor Peterson. "Colonial Park and numerous other ongoing affordable housing developments are signs of progress toward the goals outlined in the Blueprint, and there is still much work to be done."

Including Colonial Park, Partners In Housing has redeveloped and currently manages nearly 300 affordable housing units, all of which serve special needs populations. Their work has gained national recognition with a "Best Practice" award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Of the total project cost of $7.1 million, the city contributed $1.8 million in federal funding from HUD for the acquisition and rehabilitation of Colonial Park. The city also helped provide rental assistance through federal grants for 25 units.

Since the Blueprint to End Homelessness was announced, the city has invested nearly $19 million of its annual appropriation from HUD in projects and initiatives that assist very low-income households find and maintain quality, affordable housing. As a result of this investment, more than 1100 very affordable units are being constructed, rehabilitated, rented or preserved.

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