GREENFIELD — More affordable housing options for families in need are coming to Greenfield.

Prairie Meadow Apartments, an income-based apartment complex catering to residents living on low to moderate incomes, plans to add 76 new apartments to its complex located just east of County Road 150W off U.S. 40 in Greenfield.

Five new apartment buildings will be constructed on about eight acres of land west off Windswept Road on the city’s west side. The buildings will house one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with rent starting around $600 a month, depending on the apartment’s size and family’s income level. Construction is expected to begin within the next month, said Greenfield zoning administrator and planning director Joanie Fitzwater.

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Pedcor Investments of Carmel is overseeing the project, which reserves housing for families whose annual income totals no more than 60 percent of the area’s $62,900 median income — about $37,740.

Those who qualify to live in Prairie Meadows typically have a household income ranging from $25,000-$42,000, Pedcor spokeswoman Melissa Beeman Averitt said in an email.

Founded in 1987, Pedcor develops, constructs and manages housing communities, including many properties that enforce income restrictions, in the Midwest. Among Pedcor’s Indiana projects is Greenfield Village, located just east of McKenzie Road and Broadway Street in Greenfield. That project was a subsidized tax-credit community for 15 years before it started charging market rates about a decade ago.

Pedcor builds and manages rental properties using the Section 42 tax credit program, which offers developers tax credits for building affordable housing. Housing is classified as affordable if a family spends 30 percent of its income on rent and utilities, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Prairie Meadows, which began construction in 2008, currently includes 100 apartment units, 85 of which are deemed affordable, while 15 rent at market price.

Rent at Prairie Meadows currently ranges from about $605-$840 per month depending on the size of the apartment. The new units are expected to fall within that price range, Averitt said.

The complex currently operates at about 94 percent occupancy, and there’s a strong demand for more apartments, Averitt said. Long-term plans include a third phase of construction, bringing the complex to 220 total units, but specific details about the phase have yet to be released.

The coming expansion includes 24 one-bedroom, 42 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments.

Local officials applaud the new development, saying there’s demand for rental properties, especially those that serve low-income families.

About 5,320 Hancock County residents live in poverty, census numbers show, and that doesn’t account for the number of people who struggle to make ends might despite living just above the poverty line, said Carl Denny, executive director of the Hancock Hope House, a homeless shelter serving Hancock, Rush and Shelby counties.

The people who come through the Hope House doors aren’t looking for permanent residency at the shelter; they stay for a few months until they’re able to save enough for a place of their own.

Once they start looking for a place to call home, they return to the Hope House disappointed, Denny said. They seek housing that costs between $500 and $650 a month, and they struggle to find many options in Greenfield, Denny said.

For example, a two-bedroom apartment at Bluestone Apartments, one of Greenfield’s newer complexes, located at U.S. 40 and Blue Road, rents for an average $850 a month, the Bluestone website shows. Greenfield Crossing, an older complex off New Road, east of State Road 9, lists two-bedroom apartments at $739, while three-bedrooms start at $879.

Low-income families can’t afford those prices, Denny said. He’s excited to hear Prairie Meadows is expanding.

“The supply of affordable housing in Hancock County is pretty limited,” Denny said. “The working poor are looking for a place to call home, and in Hancock County, that’s not been easy.”

By the numbers

Prairie Meadows, an income-restricted apartment complex on Greenfield’s west side, is expanding.

Currently, the complex houses 100 apartment units, 85 of which are deemed affordable housing, meaning they are reserved for low- to moderate-income families.

Pedcor Investments, the developer, is planning to build five new buildings, which will offer 76 new apartments.

Twenty-four of the units will be one-bedroom, 44 will be two-bedroom and eight will be three-bedroom apartments.

Construction is expected to begin in the next month.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.