Monroe County Commissioners Announce Plans for 70 Affordable Housing Units and On-site Childcare

Written from press release

Monroe County, IN – February 23, 2024

In a development announced during today’s Monroe County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioners Julie Thomas, Penny Githens, and Lee Jones revealed plans for a new Habitat for Humanity affordable housing project. Located at 4810-4820 South Old State Road 37, the initiative aims to address the pressing need for additional housing, especially affordable options, in the community.

The project, funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), is set to include a total of 70 housing units, with 32 designated specifically for Habitat for Humanity. The commissioners also unveiled plans to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity and the property owner to repurpose an existing home on-site into a childcare facility, accommodating an estimated 32 children.

Vice President Penny Githens expressed support for the allocation of ARPA funds, stating, “We have been hearing from many sources about the need for additional housing in our community, especially affordable housing, which is why we are in favor of using ARPA funds for this project.”

Board of Commissioners President Julie Thomas highlighted the dual impact of the initiative, saying, “It is wonderful to utilize American Rescue Plan Act dollars to support the development of Habitat for Humanity residences—with an added benefit of providing much-needed childcare for our county residents.”

Monroe County Attorney Jeff Cockerill shared a conceptual site plan for the project during the meeting, emphasizing the strategic use of ARPA funds to address housing needs. The site plan, produced by Smith Design Group, accompanies this press release.

The property on Old State Road 37 also features two storage facilities, which Commissioner Lee Jones suggested could serve Habitat for Humanity’s operational needs and provide space for building material storage.

Looking ahead, President Julie Thomas outlined the next steps for the project, stating, “In order for the project to move forward, a PUD request will need to be made to the County Plan Commission, and the provision of sewer services will also need to be secured.”

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