ELKHART — Local not-for-profit Lacasa Inc. is one of two organizations in Indiana to receive $500,000 to develop workforce housing.

The board of directors for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority approved the grants to help address what it calls Indiana’s workforce housing shortage. Working with modular home builders, the two not-for-profit organizations will construct modular, single-family homes on Blight Elimination Program lots in Marion and Elkhart.

The grant was given through the Modular Workforce Housing Pilot Program.

“Across the state there is a shortage of affordable, workforce housing,” said Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who serves as board chair of Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “This funding will allow for the construction of modular single-family homes built by Indiana-based manufacturers. To ensure this is done strategically, the respondents are using Blight Elimination Program lots and working with a broad spectrum of local and state partners.”

Lacasa will use this funding to construct homes in Elkhart working with the city, Next Modular & Heckmann Homes, and Kern and Kern Realty.

“Hoosiers have an internal solution for the workforce housing crises,” said Ron Breymier, executive director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association. “Indiana has seven factories producing attractive, quality constructed, affordable modular homes. The cost of modular homes is between 20 percent and 30 percent less per square foot than site-built homes.”

A key advantage to the homeowner is that modular homes are built in an indoor, quality-controlled environment using the same building materials as site-built homes, Breymier said. An added advantage is the home can be move-in ready in a matter of a few weeks as opposed to several months to build homes on site.

Using a revolving housing fund, proceeds from the sales of these newly constructed modular, single-family homes will go to support additional single-family construction targeting home owners earning 140 percent or less of the area’s median income.

“The revolving housing fund gives us the ability to support the new construction of workforce housing both now and for years to come,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “In addition to funding, we look forward to supporting the respondents in their efforts to identify potential home buyers.”

To ensure responsible homeownership, the selected respondents are required to identify potential home buyers that will satisfy Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s underwriting review. Through this process, they will be offered homeownership education and counseling.

Affordable Housing & Community Development Corporation in Marion is the other grant recipient.

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