FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Single-parent students could get a new $45 million housing development as soon as Fall 2017 if a Fort Wayne nonprofit can pull together enough money.
Nonprofit Joshua’s Hands and Indianapolis developer BWI have laid down plans to build Posterity Heights Scholar House off of McKinnie and Anthony boulevards. The site at 4209 Plaza Dr. is where the former McMillen apartments were.
Joshua’s Hands CEO Cedric Walker said Posterity Heights will make housing, transportation, and child-care costs easier and more affordable for single-parent students. He said if the parent doesn’t have to worry about these monthly challenges, they can focus more on their education.
Posterity Heights would use government vouchers to make sure rent, utility and childcare costs are below 45 percent of a person’s income. It would also provide a free Uber-like driving system to help with transportation costs.
The first phase of the project, the scholar house, is 44 two- and three- bedroom apartments. It will also have a a retail component and space for a family restaurant, as well as urban farms, solar energy grids, a child learning development center and a neighborhood life development center.
Later phases will feature lease-to-own townhouses and market rate single family homes.
Walker is calling Posterity Heights a cutting-edge housing development.
“Jobs, education, energy efficient, you name it,” he said. “Children get a chance to grow up in a community with other children that are dealing with the same struggles that they are. Parents with the same community. Creating a culture of learning and developing is what we’re trying to do so that we can produce quality people for our community.”
The entire project costs $45 million. The scholar house part costs $13 million. So far, its planners have collected $7.5 million. They are looking to the City of Fort Wayne and community to get the rest of the funding.
The project’s planners are working to attract students from Ivy Tech, Indiana Tech, and IPFW.
To be eligible for Posterity Heights, residents must be a single parent with primary custody of their child or children, a full-time student, be enrolled in high school or have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 16 years old
Fort Wayne Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, is a strong supporter of the project.
“I always use the analogy that Fort Wayne’s a boat that’s afloat and there’s a hole in that ship and one of the holes in that ship are those that are in need,” he said. “In this case those individuals that are under served that need an equal opportunity to achieve. So, we need everyone to prosper in order to make Fort Wayne an all-American city.”
Walker said Posterity Heights is one of his visions for relieving struggle in Southeast Fort Wayne.
“I’m going to feel like I’ve actually done something,” he said. “I can feel like our community, not me, not Joshua’s Hands, but our community would have come together to change the social economic status of Southeast Fort Wayne.”
Walker said they hope to break ground in November 2016.