HOPE of Evansville using grant money to renovate Tennessee St. building

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — A large federal grant is heading to Evansville’s Jacobsville neighborhood. How that money is being used is prompting questions.

HOPE of Evansville says it secured a federal grant with help from the city for a housing project in Jacobsville, $240,000.

The organization plans to take this home and rehabilitate it. Making it suitable for a family. They say this wasn’t the original plan but time was ticking against them.

$240,000 given to HOPE of Evansville years ago will finally be spent. But not originally as planned.

“Unfortunately the two homes we were slated to build as new construction had high contamination,” Joshua Case says.
“Well over 100 grand almost approaching 200 grand just to do the rehab of the site.”

Instead, the money will go into one house in Jacobsville.

“The house on the inside has been pretty much got it down to just the studs so it will have to have a new walls and new floors and all of that done so it’s not just a simple put up siding and put a homeowner inside,” Case explains.

That money will be put into this soon to be 3 bedroom house’s rehabilitation. The Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development helped with getting the grant. It says that’s a normal amount to spend on re-doing a home.

“In the last eight years every affordable house that has been built or rehab for a low-income family has cost over $200,000,” Kelley Coures explains.

Not far from the home is North Main Street. Over the last several years the city has worked to improve this area. Business owners say they’re ready for what’s coming.

“We are so excited about the pool That’s going down in Gravin Park and also the apartment complex and retail complex that is going by the Llyod Expressway. That is just going to help this area grow so much more,” Narda Jones says.

This home on East Tennessee will be redone in the next 6 months. Because of the set back at the beginning, HOPE will have to work quickly to make sure it does not lose the funding.

They decided not to tear this home down and build a new one because it was one that was salvageable and has history since it was built in the1909.

HOPE says this project a part of a much larger one involving different non-profit groups. All aimed at improving the neighborhood and the lives of the people in it.

UPDATE:

HOPE of Evansville is taking another shot at using Federal grant money to spruce up an under-served neighborhood.

The funds, totaling $240,000, had originally been slated to build two new homes.

However, the project became cost-prohibitive and was scrapped.

But, those funds came with a time limit.

If not used by this spring, the money would have to be returned.

So now, HOPE is planning to use that money to renovate an existing building in the 100 block of E. Tennessee Street.

It will then be sold to someone who is under 80% of the area median income.

If there is money left over after the renovation, HOPE says the remaining dollars will reinvested into other projects.

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(This story was originally published on January 27, 2020)

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