>EVANSVILLE — Obtaining affordable housing for residents in Evansville has become a big push for nonprofits, city administration and corporations across the Tri-State area.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced Monday that the Vectren Foundation is investing $5.5 million in affordable workforce housing. Their targeted area is the Jacobsville neighborhood.
Habitat for Humanity of Evansville, the Vectren Foundation, City of Evansville and HOPE of Evansville are collaborating to build more than 100 homes on blighted lots over the next five years.
"(Building) 20 homes this year is our goal," said Beth Folz, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Evansville. "This funding that the Vectren Foundation is committing to this project really enables us to take that next step. We're seeing a lot of people who have two and three families residing in one home. The old housing stock makes some of the homes not a viable option."
Habitat for Humanity will also raise an additional $1.6 million to support this project and is set to begin construction as early as late February.
The homes will be built for families making between 35 and 120 percent of the area median income, which is currently $65,100. Homeownership will be possible for those living on as little as $22,000, officials said.
"We have cleared a number (through the city's land bank and blight elimination program) of blighted properties in the Jacobsville area in the last three years," Winnecke stated. "In fact, over 100 blight properties have been cleared to make way for new development."
Brad Ellsworth, president of Vectren Energy Delivery South, said the initial allocation of $1 million will be used to build and repair single-family households during the first year.
"Current estimates show that our community is between 1,500 and 3,000 units short in the area of affordable housing," Ellsworth said.
After year one, the project will transition to focusing on building and repairing multi-family homes.
Joshua Case, executive director of HOPE of Evansville, said his organization will build two homes this year.
HOPE of Evansville will build a minimum of six new single-family residences and will raise an additional $750,000 to support the project, according to the City. HOPE will begin construction sometime this spring.