Lacasa Inc. will help reduce a housing shortage for local workers by constructing homes at its 120 W. Indiana Ave. property. The start of the Modular Workforce Housing Pilot Program project was celebrated during a ceremony Thursday.

The board of directors for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority awarded Lacasa a $500,000 grant to help address what it calls Indiana’s workforce housing shortage.

The Modular Housing Workforce Project will provide three, single-family housing units on Blight Elimination Program lots in Elkhart. Each home will consist of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, with approximately 1,400 square feet of living space. Completion is expected by fall 2020, according to information from Lacasa. The program is structured as a revolving fund, allowing proceeds from the sale of the first three houses to be reinvested in future workforce housing for home ownership.

“At Lacasa, we believe that all we do needs to be built to last — the programs we provide need to deliver lasting positive outcomes and the properties we develop and manage must be efficient, sustainable, and appealing,” said Lacasa President and CEO Chris Kingsley. “Modular homes still use the same materials as site-built homes, but are constructed in an indoor, quality-controlled environment. The cost of construction can be reduced along with the time to complete the new home. Lacasa is committed to providing affordable and sustainable workforce housing in Elkhart and is thrilled with the opportunity through this funding to pilot the use of quality modular housing toward that end.”

Jacob Sipe, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s executive director, said, “This program allows us to serve as a conduit between not-for-profits, local units of government and modular housing manufacturers and dealers.”

Other partners participating in the announcement were Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese, Elkhart City Council member Dwight Fish, and Next Modular owner Joel Comino.

The project is funded by IHCDA through a newly created program called the Modular Workforce Housing Pilot Program. Next Modular and Heckaman Homes will construct an extremely energy efficient house and Kern and Kern Realty will oversee the sale of the homes for Lacasa.

Lacasa is a Community Housing Development Organization serving Elkhart County.

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