For Hope of Evansville Executive Director Thomas Coe, these are busy times.
"The tax credit program requires that we complete this by the end of 2013," said Coe. "It's going to change the face of the neighborhood for sure."
Coe says the planning for the project started in the summer of 2010 with construction finally beginning this year.
More than three dozen Victorian-style homes feature floor plans of up to 2600 square feet. Coe says many of these new single-family homes could fetch market values exceeding $200,000. The Hope for Evansville program includes 40 homes tailored for low income families that meet certain income qualifications. Many of those homes are in a centralized area in the south side, particularly in the areas of Adams, Madison and Jefferson Avenues.
For every nail comes a step forward. For every piece of lumber comes a leap. And for every new home comes hope. But putting the 'hope' in the Hope for Evansville project comes with a cost.
"The total project is about $9.5 million dollars," said Coe. "But 99 percent of this is private investment through the use of these tax credits that these investors are going to capitalize on."
The program garnered the funding from private investors in turn for tax credits over a 10 year period. The incentives aren't just limited to the investors, however. For every year a tenant leases the home, they will receive a $1000 credit toward purchasing the home after a 15 years.
The city also sought a $100,000 federal grant for the project and also trimmed costs by waiving things like building permit charges.
Coe says the program benefits future homeowners but doesn't forget existing homeowners.
"That's one of the things we've tried to do from the beginning in this project: increase property values and that helps everybody," said Coe. "It's like putting money in the bank without having to make a deposit."
Through the sawdust that now fills the air in the 200 block of Adams Ave., is a clearer picture of where this neighborhood is going.
"I think there's been a big misconception about this area for a long time," said Coe. "The reputation is that it's bad and blighted neighborhood and we're thinking that's not the case anymore. We're starting to turn the corner on that. These neighborhoods didn't get in these conditions overnight. It's going to take some time to go in the other direction as well."
"With everybody's help and investment, it's a concerted effort. It's not just one organization, city or residents that live here, it takes everyone to make these changes happen."