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Carey Services adds to neighborhood

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RAPID PROGRESS: A housing unit under construction on Landess Street for Carey Services’ Pleasant Square Apartments.
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ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Josh Ramsey, a laborer with Dave’s Excavating, puts the finishing touches to a concrete porch forPleasant Square Apartments, currently under construction for Carey Services.

BY Emily Rachelle Russell - erussell@chronicle-tribune.com

Carey Services, with the support of a team of development partners and a Pleasant Woods residents council, is building a new set of apartments between 27th and 28th Streets near their offices.

The apartments, called Pleasant Square, will be five two-bedroom duplexes located on Carey Street and Landress Street, according to Carey Services President and CEO Jim Allbaugh. As many as 20 people will be able to live in the entire development. The apartments will be available on an income basis.

This development is what the organization calls phase two of their efforts to create affordable accessible housing. Phase one was fulfilled with the opening of Pleasant Woods Apartments in 2013.

Carey Services has spent the past five years working on securing the necessary land for this new development, which will follow a similar design as Pleasant Woods. The Pleasant Square project is led by Carey Services but supported by partnership with Halstead Architects, Randall Miller and Associates, Mutual Bank and the Affordable Housing Corporation. A council of residents from Pleasant Woods has also been heavily involved in the decision-making process, according to Allbaugh.

“Being able to create affordable, accessible housing for individuals with disabilities is a key tenet of our mission statement here at Carey Services,” Allbaugh said. “Pleasant Woods and now Pleasant Square can continue to be a resource to people with disabilities.”

Construction on Pleasant Square began with a groundbreaking ceremony in June of this year. The apartments are scheduled to be available for move-in by December.

Allbaugh says the need for housing that is both affordable and accessible in Grant County is much higher than currently available. He cited a phone call with a realtor earlier this year in which he discovered that, of the 70 or 80 homes available, only three qualified as accessible for people with disabilities.

Jacquie Dodyk of the Affordable Housing Corporation agrees. She says there are plenty of homes in Grant County that are not conducive to wheelchairs or other needs of the disabled.

“Our mission is directly about providing safe, decent and affordable housing in Grant County,” Dodyk said. “There’s a lot of people that aren’t going to receive safe, decent housing unless we make it happen.”

The Affordable Housing Corporation has been a part of Carey Services’ housing efforts since the plan was first created in 2011. The nonprofit has served as consultants, applied for grants, assisted with financial planning and offered expertise in leasing.

Randall Miller and Associates, another important partner in the development team, joined more recently to be a part of the Pleasant Square “phase two” project. According to President and Director of Engineering Jason Miller, the surveying and engineering firm has performed a survey and participated in site design for the development. Miller believes in the importance of this project to the Grant County community and thinks the location of these new buildings will make it easier for residents to access other support from Carey Services.

“It definitely serves a need in the community for housing, and it’s an extension of the phase one portion,” Miller said. “(Pleasant Square’s) proximity to Carey Services makes it a seamless transition for what they’re doing for the community.”

Allbaugh and Dodyk both emphasized the importance of the Pleasant Woods residents council in the process of this development. The individuals living in Pleasant Woods have been involved in decisions such as the name, floor plan design, flooring choices, building design and cabinetry. Dodyk called the council the new project’s biggest cheerleaders.

Once the project is complete, it will total $1.4 million in economic additions to the community, Allbaugh says. Funding for the development has come from the Federal Home Loan Bank, Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, construction financing through Mutual Bank and Carey Services asset contributions.

“We’ve been able with the creation of these apartments at least to address a barrier and create an opportunity for individuals,” Allbaugh said. “However Carey Services is able to play our part in making Grant County a thriving and great place to be, that’s what we’ve been about. I believe that the Pleasant Square apartments is one way we’ve been able to contribute to this community.”

Carey Services will be in charge of Pleasant Square in the long term, but the Affordable Housing Corporation is handling leasing for the organization for now. Individuals interested in living in Pleasant Square Apartments once they open are invited to speak to the Affordable Housing Corporation to discuss a lease application.