SCIHO seeks to improve access to affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households in our community in multiple ways, including:
- Developing new affordable housing units;
- Preserving existing affordable housing; and
- Maximizing the effectiveness of existing community resources to meet low-income households’ housing needs.
Our current initiatives include:
- Switchyard Apartments
- Master Lease Partnership of Monroe County
- Expanding Housing Resources for Low-Income Renters
Planned new construction of 16 apartments at 1901 S Rogers, adjacent to Switchyard Park, all affordable to low-income households. Construction of Phase 1 anticipated to begin in late summer 2018, with occupancy in spring 2019.
As a Community Housing and Development Organization (CHDO) certified by the City of Bloomington, SCIHO is undertaking regular community engagement on the Switchyard Apartments project each stage of the development process: design, location of site, development, and management of affordable housing.
In Fall 2017, SCIHO staff introduced the Switchyard Apartments project to community stakeholders at seven meetings hosted by local organizations selected to prioritize reaching low-income households and invited participants at each meeting to complete a survey about their housing needs.
Some highlights of the survey results:
- Forty-nine percent of the main survey respondents were between 18 and 34 years old.
- Surveys from people with disabilities indicated a strong preference to live independently if given the option. (According to conversations with LifeDesigns staff, affordable and accessible one-bedroom units are the highest demand for their clients.)
- The majority of respondents currently live in Bloomington or Monroe County. The most popular places respondents would like to live are downtown Bloomington, south of downtown, and the east side of Bloomington. This makes the location of Switchyard Park a great fit for the demands of our survey respondents.
- A community garden was one of the most popular features desired among respondents.
- While most survey respondents indicated they travel by car for work, school, and personal needs, walking, biking, or taking the bus were also represented, the latter especially among people with disabilities. The location of Switchyard Apartments near the B-line bike and pedestrian trail and on a city bus line offers valuable multimodal choices for residents.
Housing4Hoosiers is a new one-stop online resource for affordable rental housing in Bloomington and Monroe County. Renters and landlords will find a wealth of information on finding and keeping rental housing, tips on leases and security deposits, tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities, fair housing, and more.
Featured on the site is a Google map plus a spreadsheet with detailed information on over 150 rental housing properties throughout the City of Bloomington Monroe County. Visitors can also sign up for H4H News, with regular tips and information on how to find, lease, and keep rental housing, or download a free copy of “Renting in Indiana: A Guide for Tenants and Landlords.”
Master Lease Partnership of Monroe County
A pilot master lease program for 15 apartments for low-income residents in Monroe County to improve housing stability and affordability in a high-cost housing market where many low-income households struggle. The program will also establish an automatic tenant savings account program to support the growth of households’ financial stability.
Expanding Housing Resources for Low-Income Renters
SCIHO is exploring ways to increase opportunities in the community for tenant education and coaching to improve renters’ housing stability. Stay tuned for more details on the development of this program!