Brent Martin of SRKM Architecture suggested that we collaborate with the City of Plymouth on a READI Grant application that centered on new housing on Water Street in Plymouth. Brent had worked on some plans, but the application would require a private developer to match the funds. We are already working with the City of Plymouth on the Riverside Commons LIHTC project, so this seemed to be a natural fit.
The plans call for 10-12 townhouses along Water Street. The City would provide the site and 20% of the housing construction costs. The READI Grant would then kick in 20% with 60% coming through developer financing. This looks like a wonderful way to upgrade a deteriorating area of the city while providing much needed housing. The target for this housing would be middle income as an alternative to the high income apartments at Rivergate South.
It came to our attention that Culver had no significant application going in for a READI grant, despite encouragement from the Regional Development Authority to Marshall County to try and put forward more rural applications. With the application time fast approaching, we discussed a matching project in Culver with Ginny Munroe, Town Manager. She secured positive interest from three council members and we were off-to-the-races on an application for Culver as well. Culver is in need of middle income rentals too, so we spent a rushed Saturday putting together an application to meet the Sunday deadline.
Interestingly, this has spawned additional conversations on housing in Pulaski County and Whitley County. Lack of housing seems to be a continuing issue.
We’re excited about continuing our efforts to meet local housing needs. We feel like we’re pursuing a middle income housing niche that has been neglected in the three-legged housing market of low, middle and high income offerings.
The South Bend -Elkhart Region (Which include Marshall County) was awarded $50 million toward READI projects. Hopefully this is the beginning of some good things.