Avilla Chamber News

Be Noble, Inc. Partners with Housing Resource Hub

Be Noble Inc. leads housing initiative to empower Noble County

Continually low unemployment rates. Hundreds of unfilled jobs. School enrollments in decline. The list of reasons to bring more housing options to Noble County remains long. While new housing developments are under construction across the county, the supply is simply not keeping up with demand. Be Noble Inc., Noble County’s local economic development organization, is taking action to help.

In a major step toward empowering the market and launching community-wide housing initiatives, Be Noble Inc. has signed a two-year contract this week with the Housing Resource Hub, also known as “the Hub”. The partnership is preparing to launch the Housing Coalition of Noble County – an effort to develop a road map that puts vision into action and create additional housing opportunities to attract and retain Noble County’s workforce.

The Hub will facilitate the Housing Strategy process which involves providing a road map to develop a dynamic housing initiative that aims to result in new housing units and enhance the quality of life in Noble County. As facilitators, the Hub will measure local housing market potential, identify catalyst project sites, design workforce housing programs for talent attraction and retention, and help Noble County’s communities jumpstart their own local housing projects. The first year of the two-year contract is made possible by Be Noble’s Investment Trust Fund, funded by county economic development income tax (CEDIT).

The initial step in the process is a virtual Kick Off meeting. Community and business leaders from across Noble County are invited to participate in the one-hour introduction meeting on Tuesday, June 28th at 10 a.m. The meeting will also serve to help identify a committee of stakeholders that will form the Housing Coalition of Noble County and play an important role in directing the overall effort.

Any members of the community who are tasked with addressing local housing issues, either formally or informally, are also encouraged to participate in a brief survey designed to help the newly formed coalition consider community readiness and highlight areas of strength and opportunity. The survey can be accessed from now until June 15 by visiting https://bit.ly/3zaPs9B.

“Collaboration continues to be the key to success in many areas of economic development in Noble County,” noted Gary Gatman, Executive Director of Be Noble Inc. “This partnership with the Hub, and the launch of the Housing Coalition, will put visions into action around local housing needs. This is an exciting step and a critical component to bringing the kind of transformational change needed.”

Gatman cited the work the Hub is doing in neighboring counties as “encouraging” and one of the reasons he advocated for a partnership in Noble County.

“The Hub was created in 2020. Since then, several communities in the Northeast Region have seen results from working with them,” Gatman continued.  “We have seen some great things happen when we collaborate like this. I think of the Early Childhood Coalition, new iSMART lab, and Kendallville’s PreservINg Main Street program as just a few recent examples and am looking forward to adding the Housing Strategy to the list of truly transformational opportunities for Noble County.”

To join the Housing Kick Off Webinar, please register in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/355091286597. For more information, and to follow the work of the Housing Coalition of Noble County, visit www.onenobleco.com/housing or call (260) 636-3800.

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