Under the category of, "Whats happening in real estate" the city where I live has announced another incestuous boondoggle to be built using government money in an area where few people want to live. Ironically I found out about this project on the very day that I had just read an article about the 10 most and least expensive cities in America to rent an apartment. Of course, Fort Wayne was on the list of least expensive places to rent and it should be noted that a slew more new apartment projects are already under construction which will pressure rents even lower.
It is easy to argue that the role of government is to provide "necessary services" that the private sector cannot provide and not to go out of their way to compete with the private sector. Below is the article presented in all its politically spun glory and presented on the city's own so-called news link, http://www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/. As you read or scan the piece please note these are not bare bone housing units. Let me be clear, these are not "plain Jane" in nature but an "over the top" effort to build an expensive monument to "affordable housing" that can act as a model for other communities. This is a cutting-edge experiment so inclusive that it even provides an electric car sharing program for residents.
(September 6, 2017) -- BWI, LLC is breaking ground on the first Moving Forward energy-efficient affordable housing and transportation development in Indiana. Posterity Heights in Fort Wayne, Ind. is a multi-phased development designed to provide net-zero housing, electric car sharing, an on-site early childhood learning center, education and job opportunities, healthy food and other amenities for traditional and single parents on a path to self-sustainability.
The $42 million development will be built on the 28-acre site of the former McMillen Apartment parcel of land on the city’s southeast side (4209 Plaza Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46806).
This is the first of six currently planned Moving Forward developments statewide (Indianapolis, Bloomington, Lafayette, two in East Chicago, Ind.). Each development will have its own unique characteristics and different developers.The Moving Forward Program, launched in 2015 by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and Energy Systems Network (ESN), is designed to create affordable housing that increases quality of life while decreasing the cost of living for low- to moderate income individuals and families.
“It was an honor joining Mayor Tom Henry and our partners at BWI, Joshua’s Hand and Energy Systems Network (ESN) for today’s groundbreaking ceremony,” Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who serves as board chair of IHCDA, said. “With innovative, energy-efficient technology and support services for single mothers, I have no doubt that Posterity Scholar House will be a model for the way affordable housing is done not only in Indiana but nationwide.”
Posterity Heights will include four phases, the first of which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018. Once completed, the development is expected to create 100 jobs.
“I continue to be encouraged by the progress we’re seeing in southeast Fort Wayne and throughout our community,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, said. “The City has been working in partnership with neighborhood leaders to redevelop this property for almost 10 years and I am pleased to see this innovative project get underway. Together with the new homes in Renaissance Pointe, the McMillen Park Community Center, the completion of the Winter Street Urban Farm, construction of new trails and millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, the Posterity Scholar House will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of this area and offer new opportunities and hope for residents.”
Phase I: Posterity Scholar House – 44 large, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments incorporating 500KW of solar and battery storage to create net-zero energy usage (the creation of enough energy on-site to equal tenant usage). The development couples energy-efficient housing with an electric car sharing program for residents, who will be single parent students enrolled in one of the local universities. The residents will utilize a smart phone App/Web Portal to manage energy usage, reserve transportation and access other amenities.
Phase II: Commercial Retail and Training Center (Posterity Place) – The Housing Life Development and Innovation Resource Center (HLDIRC) will provide a business accelerator and incubator for growing tech businesses. Posterity Place Food and Shops will include a My Market Grocery Store and Lutheran Health Network will lease space for a Federally Qualified Health Center.
Phase III and IV: Posterity Place Rental Townhomes (Posterity Village) and Market Rate Homes (Posterity Point) - Affordable lease-to-own townhomes and market rate homes will be built on the site. Pocket parks will be open to the public and community gardens will also be included.
“Posterity Heights is a transformative development at many levels, from creatively reusing a vacant site in southeast Fort Wayne, to fostering partnerships that are giving single parents a hand up in furthering their education and putting their kids on a path to a sustainable future,” Gary Hobbs, president and CEO of BWI, LLC., said. “We are proud to partner with Pastor Cedric Walker and the team at Joshua’s Hand to offer integrated supportive services to the families who will call the Posterity Scholar House home.”
“Joshua’s Hand has committed itself to the social side of economic development because no economy can grow without growing people, no matter how much money is spent, they’re the most important part of this,” Cedric Walker, CEO, Joshua’s Hand, said.
Posterity Scholar House is funded through a combination of IHCDA low income housing tax credits, HOME funds, the City of Fort Wayne, the Northeast Regional Cities funds, and other private sources, including BWI, LLC, the National Equity Fund, BMO Harris Bank, and Column Financial.
“This is a historic day in the affordable housing industry,” Jacob Sipe, executive director of IHCDA, said. “Not only will this development use a holistic approach to affordable housing development with education, career training and child development, but it will feature a high-tech environment with solar and battery storage as well as electric vehicles with charging stations.”
“We are lowering the combined cost of utility bills and transportation for residents by integrating advanced technologies including renewable solar energy, smart home technology, and electric vehicle car-sharing,” Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of Energy Systems Network (ESN), said. “But this is about
more than energy efficient technologies – this is a way to keep more money in residents’ pockets that they can in turn invest in other areas.”
For more information on Posterity Heights and Posterity Scholar House, visit www.Joshuashand.org
About BWI, LLC:
With more than ten years of experience in developing affordable housing opportunities in Indianapolis’ urban core, BWI has a track record of success in putting together public-private partnerships that benefit underserved populations and the overall community. BWI also develops communities where residents have the opportunity to better their lives, which is the model for Posterity Heights.
About Joshua’s Hand:
Joshua’s Hand’s mission is to assist the community in helping socioeconomically challenged persons replace the destructive habits that produce impoverished communities with positive, supportive and transformative services
that promote self-leadership, hope leading to decent and affordable permanent housing and respectable commercial retail services. For more information, visit www.joshuashand.org
About Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA):
IHCDA, chaired by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, provides housing opportunities, promotes self-sufficiency and strengthens communities in order to build an Indiana with a sustainable quality of life for all Hoosiers in the community of their choice. For more information, visit www.ihcda.in.gov
About Energy Systems Network (ESN):
Energy Systems Network (ESN) is an initiative focused on the development of the advanced energy technology sector. ESN’s mission is to leverage our network of global thought leaders to develop integrated energy solutions to increase quality of life for today and tomorrow. Our collective focus is to reduce costs, emissions and waste; influence policy; and advance technological innovation. For more information, visit www.energysystemsnetwork.com
I have highlighted several parts of the above text in bold. What you see above is basically a reference to a huge huge number of government arms, boards, entities, quasi-government, nonprofit groups, and people partnering for status and profit. The one thing these self-promoters that feed at the government's tit have in common is they have no problem spending and wasting the taxpayer's money. Bottom-line, if Jacob Sipe, executive director of IHCDA is willing to state, “This is a historic day in the affordable housing industry,” it must be true. Yes, it probably is historic in that it marks the groundbreaking of another boondoggle marking our demise. With projects like this underway in the financially conservative heartland of America, we should all wonder what insane undertakings are taking place in other parts of the country.