The City of Elkhart's 1995 Consolidated Plan constitutes a strategic vision for housing and community development for the city. This document summarizes the plan so that citizens in the community can have a quick overview of the housing and community development problems; the 5 year broad objectives and actions proposed to meet those goals; and specific projects for carrying out this strategy during 1995.
The Consolidated Plan includes a 1-year action plan for 16 projects, spending approximately 1-million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in 1995. Those funds will be spent on housing rehabilitation, public services, and planning.
The Consolidated Plan evolved from the work of the Consolidated Plan Committee. The Consolidated Plan Committee was a broadly representative body of community-wide stake holders and included representatives from the business and education communities, the City Council, housing providers and developers, foundations and non-profit service providers, neighborhood associations, health care providers, and the religious community.
Critical to the planning process were a series of three independent focus groups consisting of key community stakeholders in the substantive areas of housing, community development and economic development. These focus groups convened twice during the 10-week planning process. The purpose of the first meeting was to isolate and clarify critical issues and concerns from their particular vantage points. They convened a second time to offer suggestions and recommendations for what might be the best course of action to follow to resolve these issues.
Additionally, two public town meetings were held to generate broad community
awareness of the Consolidated planning process, and most importantly, to engage
community residents in articulating goals and visions for the future of the
community and in prioritizing actions to be taken in order to move the community
toward the expressed vision. These town meetings were conducted as structured
small-group consensus-building processes and permitted open discussion of issues
and concerns relative to housing and community development topics.
The rate of household formation within the City of Elkhart has far outdistanced the rate of new housing development in the recent past. While not uncommon throughout the state, this phenomenon causes particular concern with the supply side of the City's housing market. There was a fairly even split between owner-occupied housing units and renter- occupied housing units within the existing housing stock in 1990. Approximately 56% of the 17,519 total occupied housing units within Elkhart were owner-occupied, while the remaining 44% were renter-occupied. A closer look at the increase of rental units by number of units in structure, indicates that the conversion of single-family owner-occupied units to single-family rental played a significant role in the overall growth of rental units. This represents a fairly high rate of renter-occupied housing units within the City. This may indicate the existence of a certain inability or unwillingness on the part of Elkhart residents to pursue housing ownership opportunities.
While it is difficult to describe how families or individuals who are currently housed might be threatened with homelessness without surveying each family or individual as to their specific housing situation, estimations based on other factors might suffice. According to the City of Elkhart's CHAS for the 1994 - 1999 time period, 25% of all City households had very low incomes (incomes at 0-50% of the MFI). When applying this percentage to the 17, 523 total households in Elkhart in 1990, this corresponds to approximately 4380 households which have limited capacity to afford housing, which have limited savings, and which might be threatened with homelessness.
Another segment of the population in the City of Elkhart which may be threatened with homelessness are the families with neither parent currently working in the labor force. In 1990, 1,111 families, or approximately 10% of the total families in Elkhart, had neither parent in the labor force.
According to the 1990 Census, 743 individuals in Elkhart did not live in households, an increase in the homeless population of 4%from the 1980 census figures. This population consists of all types of people: single males; unmarried females, both with and without children; battered women; individuals with mental or addictive illnesses; and married couples with children. There is a definite need for adequate and affordable housingÄÄ with both short-term and long-term availabilitiesÄÄfor those special needs populations.
Data supplied by the Faith Mission through a survey of service providers indicated that 112 individuals were staying at the Mission on the day of the survey, including thirteen children under eighteen years of age. The primary users of the shelter are unaccompanied adult men (75%), while unaccompanied adult females (7%) and unaccompanied male youth under 18 (9%) also use the shelter. However, the survey indicated that there has been an increase in the number of families and children using the Faith Mission facilities. Faith Mission representatives indicated that approximately 75% of the individuals that come to the Mission are repeat users--who use the facilities over one-third (1/3) of a month. In addition, results of the survey indicated that about half of the individuals who frequent the Faith Mission are mentally ill, and that an additional 30% to 35% are addicted to some form of narcotics or alcohol.
Finally, emergency shelter providers and other social service agencies identified a portion of the population which was homeless and living on the streets. This population of thirty (30) persons was identified through records which indicated the number of individuals who were turned away from emergency shelter providers on the might of the survey, and through actual cited accounts given by agencies and social workers who interact with homeless individuals and families.
The survey identified a total of two hundred seventy-six (276) individuals who either were housed in emergency housing, who were seeking emergency shelter, or who chose to remain on the street in on night in the City of Elkhart.
The Elkhart Public Housing Authority maintains 1,277 housing units. Of these 672 are conventional units and approximately 600 units are Section 8 and housing for the elderly. In relation to the 672 conventional public housing units (of which 374 are elderly housing), the majority of the units (388) are one bedroom units, 106 units are two bedroom units, and 178 units have three or more bedrooms.
The Housing Authority anticipates an expansion in conventional housing, Section 8, and acquisition. There has been contact by several private organizations who have federally subsidized housing (i.e., Winthrop Corporation) who have made contact and are considering the sale of their properties. In addition, the EPHA states that Section 8 certificates and vouchers are expected to be increased several times over the next five years. The Housing Authority under HUD mandate will also be looking at homeownership and replacement along with acquisition of properties within the next 2 to 3 years.
In projecting the City's population for 2000, it is assumed that the City of Elkhart will grow at a comparable rate to that of Elkhart County (13.7% between 1980 and 1990). Therefore it is projected that the City's population will climb to 47,370 by the year 2000, adding almost 3,750 residents to Elkhart. This influx of population will undoubtedly result in an increased demand for adequate and affordable housing within the City.
An increase in Elkhart's population of almost 3,750 residents within the next five years will result in a demand for approximately 1,550 units,assuming that there is an average household size of 2.4 persons per housing unit.
The City of Elkhart currently has an evaluation/reduction policy for addressing suspected lead-based paint hazards for any CDBG-funded housing rehabilitation project. this policy requires abatement if lead contamination is even suspected. Additional resources are available through the Elkhart County Health Department which provides testing for children and referral for treatment, if necessary. The City is researching the cost effectiveness of purchasing testing equipment and hiring outside consultants to determine which method would work best for this community.
According to the State of Indiana's CHAS for the 1994 - 1998 time period,
39.4% of homes in the north district of Indiana contain lead based paint.
We, as Elkhart residents, envision a great city of diverse neighborhoods where all can share in Elkhart's economic vitality.
We desire a place where:
Elkhart will be a place where opportunities are ever present to advance one's economic well being, where each citizen actively participates in a democratic government and where all accept responsibility for nurturing a better community.
Based on the Community Vision Statement, four (4) long-term strategies are offered to direct future housing, community and economic development initiatives. These are:
The following strategic issues and opportunities were identified through careful analysis of existing conditions and through the aforementioned public planning process. The City of Elkhart's primary issues and opportunities include:
The Pathway to Better Housing is designed as a family centered housing improvement program to open housing choices and opportunities to those with limited housing choice. Rather than be locked into a depressing housing situation forever, the Pathway to Better Housing offers ownership equity in future housing opportunities in return for dedication to advancing life skills and earning power. The Pathway to Better Housing Strategy links housing assistance to a family or household, through a centered development program in order to:
The neighborhood development strategy concentrates housing and community development investments in small areas of distressed older core neighborhoods, The range of possible activities include housing rehabilitation, concentrated code enforcement, rental rehabilitation, acquisition and rehabilitation of property for public use, and housing ownership development. Each neighborhood will have different needs and different opportunities. The underlying approach is aimed to build the capacity of the community to identify problems and needs, and to implement a long-term neighborhood revitalization program.
The neighborhood development strategy is planned as a five-year program to foster and institutionalize community-based development capacity in at least three (3) low/moderate neighborhoods. Each of three (3) low-income older core areas will be targeted for participation in a neighborhood challenge grant opportunity. Each community where at least 70% of the resident households have incomes below 80% of the city median family income (MFI) will be eligible to receive a $35,000 challenge grant for implementation of a community improvement project or program.
Continuum of Care
The Continuum of Care Strategy seeks appropriate housing remedies for families and individuals based upon their housing need, their respective life circumstances and their capacity to move toward a permanent sustainable housing environment.
Over the course of the five year plan there will be four (4) programmatic objectives as follows:
Four issues need to be addressed over the long term in order to improve incomes and earning prospects for the working poor and to increase employment opportunities for those currently not in the labor force.
The City of Elkhart is an entitlement city for HUD, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), funds and expects to receive $969,000 for the program year 1995. The City expects to receive approximately $30,000 in Program income during program year 1995- 1996.
The City of Elkhart is not a "participating" jurisdiction in the
Indiana Housing Finance Authority's (IHFA) HOME Investment Partnership (HOME)
program. However, part of this Action Plan includes the pursuit of $300,000 in
Home funds for the ability to accomplish additional necessary housing
rehabilitation projects. The City expects to receive $75,000 in local EDIT
funding as the required 25% local match for such HOME funds.
The following is a description of planned activities with respect to all available CDBG funds during the program year.
The Planning and Development Department for the City of Elkhart is the administrator of the Community Development Block Grant funds and will be the lead agency in coordinating the projects identified in the Consolidated Plan. The Concord Township Trustee's office, Faith Mission, Elkhart County Women's Shelter, Salvation Army, ADEC and Oaklawn are the main agencies actively administering various assistance programs for the homeless and other special needs populations.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects in one neighborhood.
MAP 6 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects in one neighborhood.
Ms. Pam Gundlach
Department of Planning and Development
229 South Second Street
Elkhart, IN 46516
PH: (219) 294-5471 ext. 128