Mayor Lobbies For Affordable Housing Near New Park

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(Conceptual drawing provided by the city of Bloomington) (Conceptual drawing provided by the city of Bloomington)

A $1.2 million affordable housing project is planned in Bloomington. Mayor John Hamilton is seeking approval of leasing city-owned land near Switchyard Park to nonprofit developer South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities for $1. The park takes up more than 65 acres of former industrial property that the city is featuring for potential redevelopment opportunities.

The organization is an affiliate of the Bloomington Housing Authority. Plans for the project call for 16 units of housing that the city says would be made permanently affordable. SCIHO Executive Director Deborah Myerson says Switchyard Apartments' affordability is about more than its low rent costs "it is also about location and proximity to amenities. Simply put, this site is an outstanding location. Not only does it share a backyard with Switchyard Park, the newest gem of a city park, but it is in a walkable location on a busline and near the B-line Trail, close to employment, groceries, educational resources, and more."

If the project receives all approvals, the one and two-bedroom apartments will range in price from $550-$850 per month. Springpoint Architects, based in Bloomington, has developed a site plan for the two buildings. The city is considering up to $200,000 in incentives through federal Housing and Urban Development Department HOME funds that could be awarded through the Community Housing Development Organization.

Amenities include a community room, laundry, parking and a courtyard with community garden. If funding lines up, work is expected to take at least 18 months.

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