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Community Foundation of Southern Indiana awards $100K grant for affordable housing in Jeffersonville

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana board members present a $100,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity Clark & Floyd Indiana in front of an unfinished house.
Community Foundation of Southern Indiana
The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana board members present a $100,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity Clark & Floyd Indiana to build 11 new homes in Jeffersonville.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana awarded Habitat for Humanity a $100,000 grant to help fund 11 new homes in Jeffersonville’s Claysburg neighborhood.

Habitat for Humanity Clark & Floyd Indiana is building new affordable housing in Claysburg, a historically Black neighborhood in Jeffersonville. The project is meant to help fill a dire need for affordable housing in Southern Indiana. Though the organization usually builds one or two houses at a time, the Spring Hill Station Project in Claysburg will be made up of 11 new homes.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana announced a $100,000 grant Tuesday to help fund the project.

According to CFSI’s 2021 needs assessment survey, 7,000 families in Clark and Floyd counties spend 50% or more of their monthly earnings on housing alone. The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing as costing 30% or less of monthly household income.

“[The project] will move families from just merely surviving to actually thriving and when that happens, then the entire community will benefit as well,” said Linda Speed, CFSI’s president and CEO. “It's helping to pull qualified families out of the rental vortex and put them into affordable housing, so they can begin building generational wealth.”

Habitat for Humanity Clark & Floyd Executive Director Jackie Isaacs said the Spring Hill Station Project has been a long time in the making. The Jeffersonville Housing Authority donated the land near 12th and Riddle streets earlier this year. Situated near a community center, a youth services center and a senior center, Isaacs said the location was ideal for new homeowners.

“We've been hustling, trying to get the funds raised so that we can build the homes,” Isaacs said. “And we'd love to build five houses a year and continue at this pace.”

Isaacs said that the total cost of the project will be $1.5 million. The first five homes are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. Habitat for Humanity is in the process of fielding applications for the next five homes in the new community. Isaacs said the application was open for one month, and they received more than 60.

“The need is definitely there. The market rate rent is more than double what a Habitat homeowner will pay for their mortgage per month,” Isaacs said. “So we're definitely trying to ramp up to help meet this need in Southern Indiana.”

The selected applicants must attend a year of classes on home ownership and financial literacy, and they also help to physically build their home and other Habitat for Humanity homes.

“All the families around this cul-de-sac will be not only participating in their own home build, but the others in their neighborhood,” Speed said.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Richmond, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.