Study finds housing costs detrimental to Hamilton County workforce needs

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Hamilton County businesses will have an increasingly difficult time finding and retaining employees as housing becomes less affordable to more county residents, according to a study that will be released next month at a conference sponsored by Noblesville-based not-for-profit Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development Inc., or HAND.

The study found 18,735 low- and moderate-income households in the county spend more than the recommended 30% of their income on housing, which reduces money available for other necessities. Additionally, rising housing costs affect households earning more than the area median income. The county has about 123,000 households in total.

A family earning $97,920 can afford only 28% of new homes in Hamilton County and 12% of current listings, according to the study.

The Hamilton County Housing Collaborative commissioned the study, which was performed by Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd. It will be released May 4 at HAND’s Suburban Housing Conference.

“The Housing Collaborative believes that Hamilton County should have a full range of housing attainable for anyone who wants to call Hamilton County home—during every stage of their lives,” HAND Executive Director Andrea Davis said in a written statement.

HAND, founded in 1993, owns eight affordable apartment communities with a total of 137 units in Hamilton and Boone counties. It is the staffing organization for the Hamilton County Housing Collaborative, a group of 40 organizations focused on housing needs.

“Without a diverse housing inventory, the county risks its ability to expand its workforce, attract young adults looking for a place to settle and keep seniors in their community of choice,” Davis said.

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4 thoughts on “Study finds housing costs detrimental to Hamilton County workforce needs

  1. A large group tried to establish some well built affordable housing after receiving some land. The local regulations and costs put the total cost of the property well outside any “affordable” means of any kind. They clearly do not want affordable housing in their area.

    1. Hamilton County’s sprawling nature means they have to keep their property valuations inflated in order to get enough property tax revenue to sustain their infrastructure. A lack of any public transit + unaffordable housing means that they just aren’t going to get the labor that they need.

    2. You are making a pretty bold statement – I’m not saying I disagree with you – but you need to lay out some facts with that kind of statement

  2. Not sure why a study was needed to reach this conclusion unless it was to derive some specific metrics. I live “next door” in Madison County, having moved back to IN from suburban DC about 15 years ago. About ten minutes looking at land near Geist (I wanted waterfront), I knew I could get land and build the house where I am now for about the same amount as just the dirt in Hamilton Co. Still happy where I am and will retire here later this year.