Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter
April 2015 issue

 

NEWS

An update on recent legislative activity relevant to CAA clients

EVENTS

Pace gala celebrates 50 years of history, plus community impact that continues

COMMUNITY IMPACT

Weatherization efforts free funds for other needs: A report on the impact

Reaching Out, A Third Time: A Success Story

Seniors to benefit from new housing development

Area IV co-developer recognized for community commitment, makes donation to agency

30,000 square feet of former hospital to become senior living center

OPPORTUNITIES

Training opportunity: Indiana's Self-sufficiency Standard

QUICKLY

State of Indiana's Consolidated Plan: Opportunities for Input

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An update on recent legislative activity relevant to CAA clients

The 2015 General Assembly has officially adjourned for the year. What was done to curb rising poverty, growing inequality and declining family incomes? Stay tuned next week as the Indiana Institute for Working Families wraps up its "Inside the Statehouse" blog series with "Victories and Missed Opportunities for Hoosier Families."

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The deadline for submitting articles for the May issue is Friday, May 8, 2015.

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Pace gala celebrates 50 years of history, plus community impact that continues

Pace Community Action Agency recently hosted a Stakeholders’ Gala to celebrate its 50th anniversary. More than 200 attendees — including board members, staff, representatives from funding sources, peers, volunteers and community partners — shared dinner, celebrated the agency’s self-sufficiency award winner and listened to speaker Steve Gilliland. Gilliland shared how to celebrate every day and value the things that matter.

“The entire evening showed the community who we are and the impacts we continue to make,” says Tai Blythe, PACE associate director.

About the Self-Sufficiency Award Winner

Heidi Walker (shown above, at right, receiving her award from Marc McNeece, board secretary) has remained employed for more than nine years. She used the Individual Development Account program to purchase her home and participated in Healthy Families.

   

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Weatherization efforts free funds for other needs: A report on the impact

The Indiana Community Action Association (INCAA) has released a report that measures the impact that retrofitted weatherization measures have on energy savings for the houses receiving them.

The report, presented to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), covers a study period from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, and includes 2,341 dwellings that were weatherized. These weatherization services benefitted 5,423 people.

The average net natural gas savings in this study period was 264 therms (+/-10), a savings of 22.6 percent (+/-.8). The state net average of 264 therms is the highest measured since INCAA has been performing billing-analysis measurements of weatherized homes (see Fig. 6).

The average net natural gas percent savings for this study period is shown in Figure 7. Ninety-six percent of Indiana's weatherization providers were able to meet IHCDA's net natural gas savings benchmark of 15 percent.

On average in Indiana, natural gas costs approximately $1 per therm. So each therm saved is another dollar each weatherization household has to spend on something other than the gas bill. Figure 8 from the report shows how many therms (and roughly dollars) each client saved on average. While $264 per year might not seem like much, it is more than 1 percent of the average weatherization client's household income, assuming the household income is at the Federal Poverty threshold for a family of two.

The CAPs listed to the left side at the bottom of the chart above are worth noting. They made an even greater fiscal impact on their weatherization clients’ households. And these energy savings are persistent for the lifetime of the retrofits, which means they will last for years to come, stretching the savings out into the future for the people living in that home.

Indiana's electricity savings were more modest during this study period. Electrically heated homes saved an average of nearly 1,600 kWh (see Fig. 10).

For more:

   
   

Reaching Out, A Third Time: A Success Story

As a student who was working and caring for a young child, Mycal was living with her parents in a small but safe apartment. For the most part, the family was doing well. But when Mycal’s parents decided to move back home to the Philippines, Mycal decided to stay in the United States with her son. It didn’t take long to discover that, without the support of her parents, housing and schooling were more than she could handle alone.

Her income was not enough to make ends meet. She could not pay rent. She struggled to find and pay for babysitters, school and her beloved pet dog. After months of hardship and struggling to find solutions, Mycal lost her apartment. She was suddenly homeless.

She was determined to do whatever it took to not just survive, but thrive. She reached out for help from a relative living in the States, who let Mycal and her son stay with her. The arrangement worked for a while, until, more and more, Mycal found herself home alone with the relative’s children. Caring for the kids frequently prevented her from being able to leave for work and school commitments. Eventually, the tension between the two adults caused Mycal to reach out a second time.

Hoping to find financial help or housing assistance, Mycal contacted her son’s father, who, until now, was not fully aware of the hardships the two were facing. Instead of offering to partner with Mycal, he threatened to fight for custody of their son, something Mycal did not believe would be in the best interest of her their child.

She reached out a third time, this time to Northwest Indiana Community Action, where she enrolled in the Family Development Program. “The third time was a charm,” says Mycal. She and May Hill, a Family Development counselor, quickly worked on goal-setting and also discussed crisis intervention.

Mycal made tough decisions that would move her toward self-sufficiency. She learned to prioritize and found help through programs like Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and Legal Services. Hill lamented that, “At times, I felt like I didn’t have the tools to help Mycal, her struggles were so many.” Mycal’s quick smile reassures her: “Just being there to listen and believe in me was a big help. Words of encouragement are a gift.”

Today Mycal credits NWICA’s Family Development program for helping her work though those “hard years,” set goals and achieve them. Recently, Mycal graduated from ITT Technical Institute with a nursing degree. She is working full-time at a local hospital. She will no longer need the services NWICA provides, but she is still setting goals. “I would like to give back,” says Mycal. “If I have come this far, I know I can help others in the same situation.”

   
   

Seniors to benefit from new housing development

The Housing Division of Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana (CAPWI) has received funds through Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to construct two triplexes for senior rentals in Montezuma in Parke County.

The Town of Montezuma donated property to CAPWI to develop senior rental housing east of the Montezuma Community Center. That development is currently in progress (pictured).

An application for a second round of funding will be submitted for a Phase II development located on the same property in Montezuma. Phase II will consist of one triplex and one duplex. These units will be a combination of handicap-accessible and handicap-adaptable. 

CAPWI sends special thanks to the Town of Montezuma for donating the property. It’s truly a win-win situation for all.

   
   

Area IV co-developer recognized for community commitment, makes donation to agency

As Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs strives to fulfill its mission of helping people obtain affordable, decent and safe housing in a tough economic climate, it appreciates the support it receives from its partners. Area IV is also thankful that these partners are recognized by other organizations for their commitments to the community Area IV serves.

Recently, one of its partners and co-developers, Keller Development, received the General Developer Award at the Indiana Partners & Awards Luncheon hosted by Great Lakes Capital Fund.

Keller Development, a family-owned business founded in 1957, became a general contractor building and developing affordable housing in 1984. Area IV’s partnership with Keller includes rehabilitaion of two existing downtown Delphi buildings into 16, two-bedroom loft units with retail space on the ground floor level. Additionally, on the north side of Delphi, there will be 28 traditional new-construction apartments.

Keller provided staff to work with Area IV to complete feasibility analysis, apply for funding, garner and negotiate with Great Lakes Capital Fund as tax-credit syndicator and recruit a lender. Keller’s subsidiary, New Generation Management, will lease and manage the property.

Area IV was the applicant for both the Low-income Housing Tax Credits and the Affordable Housing Program funds. It will be the owner of this $7.5-million dollar project and will provide assistance with recruiting providers in the area to bring services to the residents.

Keller has co-developed with five Indiana not-for-profit entities to develop affordable housing. Of those five, it chose Area IV to receive a $2,500 donation from Great Lakes Capital Fund on its behalf. The donation will be used to further Area IV’s commitment to seeking out projects and programs to improve local economies, and to provide affordable housing.

This donation and the support from Area IV’s important community partners are both a boost and reminder that communities and their Community Action programs are working together to make their communities strong. Needs remain great, and donations help Area IV continue to foster a better quality of life for individuals and families.

   
   

30,000 square feet of former hospital to become senior living center

In March, TRI-CAP and Miller-Valentine Group hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lofts of St. Joseph's, a project located in Huntingburg, Ind., that will renovate the former St. Joseph's Hospital building into living units for seniors ages 55 and older who have limited or no affordable housing options. An additional building will be built adjacent to the hospital building. In all, 45 units will be constructed.

Miller-Valentine Group is partnering with TRI-CAP to make possible the new development, which is benefiting from $797,371 in tax credits and $500,000 in development grant funds from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. TRI-CAP also secured an additional $500,000 Affordable Housing Program grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.

The project is expected to generate nearly $4 million for the community through workers' wages and profits from small businesses and corporations.

The ground-breaking included local and state dignitaries, eight of them turning shovels of soil. At the event, Indiana's Eighth District Congressman Larry Bucshon said more cities need to repurpose these types of buildings across the country. "Redeveloping a property like this for seniors, adults over 55, is a tremendous thing," he said.

For more, including a photo from the groundbreaking and a rendering of the proposed property, see "Lofts of St. Joseph's construction underway," by the Dubois County Free Press.

   

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Training opportunity: Indiana's Self-sufficiency Standard

The Indiana Institute for Working Families' Self-sufficiency Standard measures how much income is needed for a family of a certain composition in a given place to adequately meet their basic needs — without public or private assistance.

The Institute has developed a comprehensive Indiana Self-sufficiency Standard Training Curriculum for case managers, financial counselors and workforce and education counselors.

The FREE two-day training session covers:

  • What is the Self-sufficiency Standard, and why is it important?
  • Financial planning
  • Career planning for self-sufficiency
  • Customer goals and self-sufficiency training

The training is available to community action agencies' staff members and their community partners.

The final training session for 2015 will be held April 30 and May 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Western Indiana Community Action Agency office in Terre Haute.

Registration is required. Register online. Registration deadline is April 28.

For more information, contact Pam Vicars at (812) 232-1264.

   

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State of Indiana's Consolidated Plan: Opportunities for Input

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority encourages Hoosiers to actively participate in the development of the State of Indiana's Consolidated Plan for 2015-2019.

The Consolidated Plan will set forth the method of distribution of funding for the following Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funded programs: the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Home Investment Partnership, Emergency Solutions Grant, and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program.

A draft of the Consolidated Plan is available for review and comment. Public hearings were held in April, and written comments will be accepted through May 13. Submit written comments to:

2015-2019 Consolidated Plan
Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs
One North Capital, Suite 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2027

For questions or to request a free copy of the Executive Summary of the Consolidated Plan, contact the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs at (800) 824-2476 or (317) 233-3762.


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