Construction has started on southeast Fort Wayne’s Posterity Heights $42 million scholar house as officials broke ground Sept. 6 “on the energy efficient affordable housing project aimed at breaking generational poverty,” the Journal Gazette reports.
The project, part of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Moving Forward program, is reported to be the state’s first energy-efficient affordable housing and transportation project.
Each of six Moving Forward projects, including ones planned for for Indianapolis, Bloomington, Lafayette and East Chicago, will have different developers.
“About 10 years ago when I first became mayor, this particular plot of land was nothing to be proud of,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.
“We had an exceptionally poor image of the city of the Fort Wayne right where we’re standing. And we knew we could do better. So we immediately went to work and put together the team to demolish and get rid of this entire area, which was once known as McMillen Apartments.”
Henry said the scholar house will be a vital component for south Fort Wayne, providing people a helping hand up as they strive to create opportunities for themselves and their children.
The city donated the site’s 28 acres.
“Joshua’s Hand has committed itself to the social side of economic development because no economy can grow without growing people,” Walker said in a statement. “No matter how much money is spent, they’re the most important part of this.”
The project will be built in four phases. The first stage, the scholar house, has 44 two- and three-bedroom apartment units incorporating 500 kw. of solar and battery storage, to achieve net-zero energy usage. Residents will be able to participate in an electric car sharing program. Accommodation will be for single-parent residents enrolled at local universities.
The project’s second phase will incorporate commercial retail space and a training center with a business incubator, grocery store and a health center.
There will be lease-to-own townhomes and market-rate houses in the later phases, with plans for public pocket parks and community gardens.
The project is funded by public and private funds including the city of Fort Wayne, low-income housing tax credits, HOME funds, Fort Wayne’s Legacy Fund and a $2.5 million Regional Cities Initiative funding grant from the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority.
Phase one is expected to be complete by summer 2018.