Whitley Crossings gets high marks from residents, state

The Eagle’s Nest Event Center hosted the Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation’s annual meeting Tuesday night, presenting two of their current residents and a speaker from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), director of policy, Dave Kaufman.Resident testimonials let the board know the effect their decisions and efforts were having on Whitley County families. Bree Wasson, a single mom, described the yard where her son can play—in a safe neighborhood—where she doesn’t have to worry. Jon Fulton, a gentleman with muscular dystrophy and difficulty walking described a home where every part of it is totally accessible.While long-time community residents have expressed trepidation at having low- to moderate-income housing developed near where they live, they have discovered when people have a home in a safe place and are able to live within their means to afford the home, personal pride influences how well the residents care for their homes, yards, vehicles, and then gravitates to their pursuit of better jobs, better maintenance of their finances, their health, and their family as a whole. The board has received no complaints and, in fact, has gotten very positive feedback, says Tom O’Neill, Executive Director of Passages, Inc.The need for affordable housing continues to be strong. O’Neill described Kaufman’s emphasis on the focus of federal and state governments to be on revitalizing existing neighborhoods and responding proactively to organizations like Whitley Crossings. They want to “target specific populations (such as the aging-in-home)” which is part of their community stabilization effort.While Whitley Crossings demonstrates a strength and consistency in their programs and finances, some routine changes occurred in the board memberships. Sue Harker, who has been with the board since 2002, was honored upon her exit from the chairperson position. Kenny Kerch was also bid adieu as a board member. To take over their work on the board, Kevin Snow, of Star Bank, is the new chairperson; Matt Shipman is the new vice chair, and Ann Fahl is the new secretary.Now that the 2010 annual meeting has come to a close, O’Neill says they intend to “leverage on the success of the current three projects”—that is, the Clugston, Heritage Place Homes, and Whitley Meadows—all operating in excess of 90% occupancy. He described the organization as “well-respected in the state housing community and with the funding bodies.” They come through regular program and fiscal audits with “flying colors.”If you would like more information about the services of Whitley Crossings, call Tammy Nickolson, Housing Manager, at 244-7688, or e-mail at tnickolson@passagesinc.org.