Logansport taking charge of housing struggles

A housing master plan funded by the Logansport City Council determined that the city needs a minimum of 250 to 400 new housing units in the coming years.

Posted: May 10, 2019 6:31 PM
Updated: May 10, 2019 6:39 PM

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) - Last year, a housing master plan funded by the Logansport City Council determined some staggering numbers. The city has a need for a minimum of 250 new housing units and up to as many as 400 in the coming years.

30 new homes will be going on city-owned lots scattered throughout Logansport, and about 20 homes will be built on city-owned land near the intersection of High Street and Yorktown Road.

While change may cause some hesitation, people are looking forward to what's to come.

"This starts by 44th year," said Nikki Reid, who owns and operates The Nest. For her, it's all about those who walk through her front door.

"I love the business I'm in, I love the people here in the community, and I'm excited about everything," she said

Excited because of the potential opportunities coming to the city. It's all part of an initiative Mayor Dave Kitchell says has taken three tries to get off the ground.

The city broke ground on the 30-home portion of the project at the end of April. It's called the ReVere Homes project, which is an initiative is through the Blight Elimination Program.

"We tore down the homes then we invested those lots that are not on the tax rolls and put them in a program through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority that will allow us to build new homes on that," said Mayor Dave Kitchell.

People who want these homes will have a 15-year lease option. After 15 years of good rent payments, the home belongs to them.

BEP is providing $75 million statewide to help reduce foreclosures and stabilize residential property values in Hoosier towns and cities. Mayor Kitchell said the lack of housing is impacting jobs in the community.

"Employers tell us that that is the major barrier to growing our local economy, because some of these employers have now taken up housing of their own so they can house people in the community in the short term," he said.

He said this project will also help raise property values, and contribute to general safety by taking down vacant homes that could be sites of criminal activity or possible fires.

And he has another location in mind: the former Logansport Municipal Utilities generating plant. The plant was shut down in 2016 because of stricter Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, but LMU officials had to transfer lines outside the plant in order for it to be repurposed.

"It takes a property that's not on the tax rolls, it will repurpose that old coal fire generating plant into river front properties," said Mayor Kitchell. He confirmed that the plan is to tear down the old LMU plant and use the land for the new houses. However, that part of the project is still in the early stages and there is no set timeline yet.

Reid said she doesn't know how many more years are in her future for her business, but she intends to keep on going as long as there are people who enjoy what she provides. She sees a bright future for her city.

"There is a lot going on in Logansport that make it seem like we are really progressing," she said.

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