United Way of Monroe County, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, and the South Central Housing Network (SCHN) have released the “Heading Home 2021: A Regional Plan for Making Homelessness Rare, Brief, and Non-Repeating.” This plan is intended serve as a community guide to support long-term initiatives in reducing and eliminating regional housing insecurity and homelessness in Monroe County.
The plan focuses on the Housing First model, a broad philosophy to house people impacted by homelessness as quickly as possible. Having stable housing creates a foundation that better equips households to address the underlying issues that resulted in housing insecurity and/or homelessness.
Recommendations include creating two full-time positions, housed initially at the United Way, to help implement the plan. Organizers are seeking funding from the City of Bloomington, Monroe County and other sources.
Read the Heading Home 2021 report here.
At their June 16 meeting, Bloomington City Council unanimously approved a 10-year abatement for the Retreat at Switchyard, a residential development at 1730 S. Walnut St.
The development involves construction of 64 residential units. Of those, 48 units will be devoted to households with low to moderate-incomes for a period of 99 years. Ten of those 48 apartments are set aside for clients of StoneBelt. The five-story building, adjacent to the Switchyard Park east entrance, includes a 3,000-square-foot first-floor retail space. The abatement, which is applicable only to the 48 affordable units, would start at 100% and step down to 5% in year 10.
The developer is Real America. The city's Redevelopment Commission intends to convey the land and structure to Real America for $1. That's a value of about $975,000, according to Alex Crowley, director of the city's Economic & Sustainable Development department.
Watch the council's June 16 deliberations on CATS here. Read abatement-related materials from the council's meeting packet here.
The following press release was issued by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce to oppose the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 regarding homeless encampments:
Based on overwhelming feedback from members, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce opposes the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 that would allow encampments in public parks for extended periods.
“Over the past year we’ve heard increasing complaints and deep concerns voiced by members of the business community regarding encampments at Seminary Park and elsewhere,” said Erin Predmore, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We must find an alternative way to support the needs of houseless residents that does not negatively impact local businesses, the jobs they provide, and the broader community.”
Three Bloomington councilmembers are proposing an ordinance that would allow homeless residents to camp in public parks, under certain conditions. The proposal will have a 1st reading at the council's Feb. 17 meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. here.
Councilmembers Matt Flaherty, Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Kate Rosenbarger are sponsors.
Click here to read the ordinance.
The City of Bloomington has released a report looking at digital equity among city residents. The report is intended to guide development of the city's digital equity strategic plan.
Among the findings:
Click here to read the report.
An 11-county study of workforce housing needs has been released this week, assessing the regional housing market and proposing strategies for addressing challenges.
The 339-page Indiana Uplands Regional Housing Study includes the Bloomington/Monroe County community. Reports for individual counties also can be downloaded on the housing study's website.
Six main strategies are identified by the report (pp 318-337):
ROI is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, and is funded through a $25.87 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
The City of Bloomington is developing a five-year plan to identify affordable housing and community development needs. You can give input by taking this survey or attending any of the following stakeholder forums:
Click here for more information about this effort, which is being led by the city's Housing & Neighborhood Development (HAND) unit.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy