New homes designed for "middle income" families

Two South Bend non-for-profits have teamed up to provide affordable housing options in the city’s northeast neighborhoods.

South Bend Heritage and Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization (NNRO) offered lunch for potential buyers as they checked out an open house at 816 Hill St. The NNRO builds and renovates homes in the neighborhood, while South Bend Heritage focuses on ways to provide families and individuals with assistance and education to make owning a home a reality.

“It’s not easy being an urban pioneer,” said Stephanie Ball, director of home ownership at South Bend Heritage, “You might see an area an say, ‘I’m not quite sure,’ but you get in, you look at the product and what they have to offer,” Ball explained.

Since last fall, five new homes have been built along Hill St., two of which have already been sold. Ball said that several plots of land on Hill St. have caught the attention of developers and private investors who want to jump on the revitalization bandwagon.

During Friday’s “Lunch and Look” open house a number of potential buyers and curious neighbors popped in to check out 816 N. Hill St.
South Bend Heritage’s architect, Pat Lynch, described it as a traditional four-square home with modern amenities. The design includes an unfinished basement, attached garage, spacious mud room, 2.5 baths and three bedrooms.

“The goal was to build new home construction that integrated and fit with the period of houses that we find in this neighborhood,” Lynch explained.

So far, the construction has received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

“It’s just showing how South Bend is really changing” said Ezra Jackson.

Cecelia Brown left the open house saying the new constructions and renovations have only helped the neighborhood, “I think it’s great that they’re putting new houses in old neighborhoods because that brings the neighborhood back.”

Stephanie Ball said the income eligibility requirements for the homes are designed to allow median income families establish roots.
Prices range from $119,000-$139,000 for the new homes.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds make it possible to sell the new construction at lower prices. Income eligibility is set by HUD regulations.

A household of one person can’t make more than $46,680, a two-person family can’t exceed $53,280, a three-person family is capped at $60,000, four-person family capped at $66,600 and so on.

“It’s worth more than we’re selling it folks, that’s the bottom line” said Ball.

The third and final “lunch & look” open house will take place May 16 at 624 and 630 N. Hill Street between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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