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1999 Best Practices
Success Stories

Program Name: Blue Triangle Residence Hall
Program Focus: Homelessness
Geographic Area: Midwest
State:     Indiana  
City:     Indianapolis  

Executive Summary
The former YWCA Blue Triangle building—built in 1923 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places—stood vacant for nearly 30 years, until Partners in Housing Development Corporation, an Indianapolis nonprofit organization, developed a plan to renovate the old building. Partners in Housing Development Corporation is chartered to provide housing to special needs populations, and the Blue Triangle project was intended to fill the demand for suitable transitional housing options for Indianapolis’ homeless population.

The Blue Triangle Residence Hall combines safe and affordable housing with on-site human services and job training. The renovation involved creating 96 single-room occupancy units to be used as transitional housing for homeless people and space for an employment skills-development center. The new facility provides human services, employment training, job placement and the foundation for a social fabric that empowers homeless people with the means to improve the quality of their lives. Other occupants of the building include the Goodwill Career Academy, the Neighborhood Self-Employment Initiative and the Riley Area Development Corporation.

"What makes the renovation of the Blue Triangle Residence Hall so important is that this project is among the best efforts in Indianapolis to address the lack of transitional housing in the city," said George Courtney of the Department of Metropolitan Development. "Blue Triangle is one of only two single-room occupancy housing facilities in the city, so it is truly filling a vital need for transitional housing in Indianapolis."

One of the greatest challenges, and therefore one of the greatest successes of the Blue Triangle renovation, was in securing financing for the project. The neighborhood was very supportive, which helped convince local businesses of the appropriateness of the project. Also, the fact that the building would be operated by a professional management firm helped settle the concerns of local businesses.

Blue Triangle was developed through partnering public and private lenders. The City of Indianapolis (Indiana Finance and Housing Authority) provided a HOME loan and HUD offered Community Development Block Grant funds to subsidize the renovation. Low-income housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, a state HOME grant, a HOPWA grant, a foundation grant, an AHP recoverable grant, a Historic Landmarks Foundation grant, and a deferred developer fee loan all helped finance the project.

This intensive 10-month renovation ended with the Grand Opening celebration on December 11, 1998, at which residents offered their sincere gratitude to everyone involved in the project for giving homeless people the opportunity to live in a safe, nurturing environment. A testament to the necessity and ultimate success of the residence hall renovation: All 96 rehabilitated units were leased within 5 months of the building’s grand opening.

State of Indiana, and City of Indianapolis

Financing: State HOME Loans and Grants, CDBG Funds, HOME Grant, HOPWA Grant, Historic Landmark Foundation Grant, Other Loans, Grants and Tax Credits

Point of Contact: George Courtney, Phone: (317) 327-5854
Email: gcourtne@indygov.org

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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