#CCHACares: HAND, Inc.

POST DATE: 11.21.22

This November, CCHA is honored to highlight HAND, Inc. as our monthly #CCHACares feature.

CCHA Partner Doug Church is proudly involved with the organization and nominated their efforts for this recognition.

“I am involved because HAND, Inc.’s mission is important in our (Hamilton) County. Too often, we have overlooked the housing needs of some of our most critical public servants…teachers, first responders…who can’t afford the median priced home in our communities,” said Church, “And because the Executive Director, Andrea Davis, is a great leader!!”

CCHA Cares Hand Inc TW

Their "Why"

HAND, Inc. addresses the housing needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, families and senior citizens in Indianapolis’ suburbs.

“At HAND, we know that where someone lives impacts every aspect of their lives – their health, their education, even their economic well-being. Hamilton County is a wonderful place to build a life, and we work to increase housing options here so everyone who wants to live here can, regardless of age, income, or occupation,” said Executive Director, Andrea Davis.

Hand Inc 1

Their History

In 2000, a group of Hamilton County residents concerned about housing needs in the county began a housing task force known as the Hamilton County Healthier Communities Housing Action Committee

The task force's mission was to improve the quality of life for residents of Hamilton County by promoting housing preservation and neighborhood revitalization. Working in conjunction with the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, they applied for and received a grant from the Indiana Housing Finance Authority (now the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority), to conduct a study on housing needs in the county.

Known as the Hamilton County Needs Assessment, the was published in February 2002 and identified a number of key strategies to promote neighborhood revitalization and housing preservation, particularly for low- and moderate-income residents. It also identified the need for a local nonprofit housing development corporation to lead the mission. This task force ultimately grew into what is now HAND, Inc., which formally became a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in 2003.

In 2003, HAND began to serve the Hamilton County community by providing an owner- occupied home rehabilitation program. The success of this program led to the employment of HAND’s first full-time staff person in 2007. In 2008, HAND developed three single-family homes that were sold to moderate income residents. HAND provided down payment and closing cost assistance to these families. Also in 2008, the Hamilton County Needs Assessment was updated and found that while significant steps were made since 2002 to provide affordable housing for the county, there was still a growing need and challenges in providing this type of housing. In 2009, HAND developed two affordable apartment communities for seniors: Plum Tree Gardens in Noblesville, offering six units, and Spicewood Garden Apartments in Sheridan, offering 25 units. Two subsequent phases of construction brought the Spicewood total to 60 apartments.

HAND spicewood HAND plum tree gardens

During 2010, HAND provided down payment and closing cost assistance to 15 families purchasing foreclosed homes in Hamilton County. The following year, 2011, was also a busy one for HAND. Renovation was completed on two historic buildings in Noblesville now known as Roper Lofts, located at 304 & 347 S. 8th St. Roper Lofts offers eight affordable one-bedroom apartments and is also the “home” of HAND offices, 347 S. 8th St., Suite A, Noblesville, IN 46060.

Also in 2012, HAND began construction on another affordable senior independent living community in Noblesville, known as Pebble Brook Gardens. It offers nine two-bedroom, patio-style apartments for seniors ages 55 and older.

HAND pebble brook

In 2013, HAND entered a new community in Hamilton County, starting construction on five two-bedroom patio apartments at Lakeside Gardens just north of downtown Cicero. Since 2013 also was HAND’s 10th year as an organization, staff and the board of directors took the opportunity to review and update the Strategic Plan. The plan outlined new initiatives to invest in neighborhoods, continue to provide housing solutions, and build strong partnerships to improve the lives of those residing in Hamilton County.

The momentum continued in 2014, when HAND secured funding to rehabilitate another historic building on South 8th Street in Noblesville. Known as Roper Capstone, it provides six affordable one-bedroom apartment homes, one of which is ADA compliant. Also in 2014, HAND launched its Neighborhoods NOW initiative, which offered grants to neighborhood groups for small projects, as well as its now-defunct Helping HAND home-repair program. In 2015, HAND hosted its first Neighborhoods NOW Conference, focusing on four key issues: growth, affordability, seniors and sustainability.

HAND roper

Their Team

HAND, Inc’s team is modest but mighty, fueled each day by a passion to help improve lives through providing housing options for Hamilton County’s low- and moderate-income individuals, families and senior citizens.

Led by previously-mentioned Executive Director Andrea Davis, who joined the organization in 2016 and was promoted to Executive Director in 2020, HAND, Inc. is proud to have 3 employees onboard, including Rebekah Metzger, Real Estate Development Director and Kelley Romweber, Asset Manager and HC Housing Collaborative Convener. This team conducts the day-to-day business to fulfill the mission to provide quality affordable housing throughout Hamilton County.

The organization also has a rather impressive 11-member Board of Directors, collectively with diverse expertise, who volunteer their time to serve Hamilton County.

Their Work

HAND, Inc. improves lives and builds community in Hamilton County by investing in neighborhoods, redeveloping historic buildings, preserving quality, affordable housing by:

  • Investing in Neighborhoods:
    • Redeveloping historic buildings.
    • Preserving quality, affordable housing.
    • Increasing volunteer activities by supporting community service projects and revitalization initiatives.
  • Providing Housing Solutions:
    • Developing permanent affordable rental properties for seniors and families.
    • Contributing to the county initiative to develop housing options for victims of domestic violence.
    • Measuring progress made by our tenants towards their goals of healthy living.
  • Building Partnerships:
    • Developing public awareness campaigns to promote housing affordability and help meet the needs of low income residents.

Support HAND, Inc.

HAND, Inc. can’t do what it does without support from folks who understand why it is important for thriving communities to offer a full range of housing options for residents.

To give online, please click here, or contact Andrea Davis to discuss other giving options.

You can also mail your tax deductible donations to:

HAND, Inc.
347 S. 8th Street, Suite A
Noblesville, IN 46060