Apartments designed to fill city’s housing gap

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An affordable housing project is coming to Old Meridian and Main Street in Carmel late next year. Meridian Flats, a Herman & Kittle development, is designed to create an affordable living space for Carmel residents 55 and older. The apartment complex is currently slated to begin construction this fall.

Based on market studies, the developers of Meridian Flats believe they have found a gap in the housing options available for Carmel residents of a certain age looking to lessen their monthly expenses. Herman & Kittle is marketing the development to local retirees looking to sell their larger homes and move into something simpler. It is not an assisted living community.

“Often (individuals) in this age group are looking to downsize to decrease the amount of income spent on housing and to lessen maintenance efforts. Apartments are an excellent choice,” Erika Scott, development director for Herman & Kittle Properties, said in an e-mail. “What’s especially important to many is to be able to stay in the area where they’ve built their life. They want to be near family, friends, activities, doctors and so on.”

Due to Carmel’s aging population, both developers and city officials are looking to fill gaps in housing throughout the city. According to Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, other cities that have limited themselves to large, expensive single family homes don’t work well but also tend to have higher tax rates.

“We don’t want to lose people who have spent their lives in Carmel, who have retired and want to sell their four bedroom house and move into something less expensive,” Brainard said. “We want to make sure there are options for them here.”

Financing for Meridian Flats will come from private sources using the IRS’s Rental Housing Tax Credit Program.

“Because of this (program), we must keep our rents affordable,” Scott said. “The community itself does not receive any rental subsidies that are passed on to the resident, (as is the case in) Section 8. We believe the term ‘low-income’ is misleading as most people picture the rundown ‘projects’ of yesteryear.”

In an affordable housing community such as this, a resident’s rent is based on their income and the number of occupants living in the apartment.

Meridian Flats is currently slated for completion in fall 2014.

Meridian Flats

  • Number of units: 94 one-bedroom, 30 two-bedroom

  • Construction: Tentative start this fall with completion slated for fall 2014

  • Residents: Ages 55 and up

  • Amenities: Community room, media room, exercise room, salon, picnic area, garden, dog park, game room, business center, crafts room and library

  • Total Cost: $16.5 million

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