Chelsea Schneider, Innovations Content Manager, Aim

Evansville will see an influx in workforce housing, thanks to a partnership with a planned $5.5 million investment from Vectren.

The initial $1 million in funding will go toward constructing and repairing single-family homes in the city’s Jacobsville neighborhood. The remainder is anticipated to go toward multi-family projects across the city.

“This illustrates the power of land banking once blighted property. All of the sites where we are building are lots that came from our blight elimination program,” Evansville Mayor Winnecke said. “This is affirmation that land banking works. It’s affirmation that land banking is a critical key to our city as we try to rebuild the city’s housing stock.”

New housing units will serve income-eligible families. For example, a family of four with an annual household income of $22,785 would qualify for an opportunity to own their own home. Estimates show the city if approximately 1,500 to 3,000 units short of meeting its affordable housing needs.

The workforce housing comes as several projects are underway in Evansville, including a new development where residents will reside within a “living laboratory” for smart energy technology.

The Post House, which represents a $40 million mixed-use development in Downtown Evansville and Southwest Indiana’s largest Regional Cities project, will feature one-of-a-kind apartment units. And residents can opt for those units to serve as a testing ground for a series of emerging technologies, thanks to a partnership with Vectren.

“We are creating an environment where people can live inside the Internet of Things and test various aspects of technology,” said Greg Wathen, president and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. Wathen was among the Southwest Indiana leaders who secured Regional Cities funding. The funding is aimed toward projects that attract talent and people to a region. In addition to state funding, the project also is benefitting from a key local economic development tool – tax-increment financing.

The Post House will help bring vibrancy to living in Downtown Evansville, said Robbie Sears, vice president of energy solutions and planning for Vectren. The project is being developed on the remaining property adjacent to the historic Greyhound Bus Station, which is now home to the Bru Burger restaurant.

“This is really going to bring a brand-new look and feel to that downtown area,” Sears said. “We think it’s really going to be important to add technology in there that are nice features for customers, but also a great opportunity for us to participate and learn more about the future.”

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