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City running out of options to fight new low-income housing complex

Lafayette's mayor continues his fight against a low-income housing complex proposed by Indianapolis developers.

Posted: Jan. 11, 2018 12:02 AM
Updated: Jan. 11, 2018 11:12 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette's mayor continues his fight against a low-income housing complex proposed by Indianapolis developers. Mayor Tony Roswarski has gone to local, state and federal lawmakers to try and stop to it. Now, nearby neighbors are also speaking out about the possible complex.

"I worry about our safety. I worry about our property. I worry about noise," said Tamara Vessels.

Vessels has put tender, loving care into the home where she's lived the past nine years. It's been a quiet area and a perfect place to raise a family.

"That's why we chose here. It's secluded but it's in town," said Vessels.

But now, there's plans to put a low-income housing complex including 17 buildings with 248 units right in her backyard.

"I was shocked. I mean I knew something was going to go up there," said Vessels. "But I didn't expect another housing complex.  I didn't. Because there is just too many I think."

Indianapolis developers Herman and Kittle Properties want to build the $32 million complex off Elston Road, near U.S. 231. An area, where there are already low-income housing complexes, including Romney Meadows.

"They're putting 200 and some units right on top of Romney Meadows and other tax credit Section 42 housing, which we think is a bad idea," said Mayor Tony Roswarski.

Roswarski has been aggressively pushing back against the plans. The mayor made his opinion clear to local, state and federal lawmakers.

"I've been in contact with the actual CEO of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and really have just went over and over why we feel this is a bad idea for the city of Lafayette," said Roswarski.

He's come to find that the decision is out of his hands. The piece of property the developers have their eyes on is already zoned R3, which is zoned for multi-family apartments.

He said the developers just need the tax credits and as long as they follow certain guidelines it will most likely be approved.

"And basically it's almost nothing," said Roswarski. "Is there water and sewer at the location? Is there infrastructure? Does it meet the zoning requirements and are you not putting too many people of certain incomes in a geographic area. Which must be a huge number because we have several complexes out there."

"It's going to end up like the others around here," said Vessels.

Roswarski said he'd rather put market-rate apartments in that location instead.

Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority commissioners will meet later this month and will decide if they approve the tax credits for the complex.

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