Tri-Cap renovates five foreclosed homes

By CANDY NEAL
Herald Staff Writer

HUNTINGBURG — Five unoccupied homes in Huntingburg that easily could have become neighborhood eyesores are being remodeled by Tri-Cap.

Two of the homes have been completed and will go on the market for rent. A tenant already has been lined up for a third home, and a family is occupying a fourth one while remodeling work is being done. The fifth one is being scheduled for remodeling.

Each of the single-family rental homes has or will have at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. All are within eight blocks of Stork Place, a former nursing home building that Tri-Cap renovated to create apartments for senior citizens.

“We wanted the homes to add to the value of the neighborhood,” said Scott Burgess, project manager for Tri-Cap.

The homes were in foreclosure when Tri-Cap bought them in a sheriff’s sale. Renovation costs are being paid with a $4.5 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant Tri-Cap received from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The bulk of the grant went to the Stork Place renovation.

Founded in 1966, Tri-Cap is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to low-income citizens and families in Dubois, Pike and Warrick counties. Renters must qualify for Tri-Cap services. Burgess estimates the cost of rent to be around $450 a month.

The homes are being completely modernized. Walls have been painted and moved to accommodate bigger rooms, a second bathroom and closet space, including walk-in closets. New flooring and carpeting have been laid and new appliances installed.

Just like on the home renovation shows on television, some of the projects had quirks.

The house at 806 E. First St. sits farther from the street than the neighboring houses. That allows for a bigger front yard and a white picket fence, but workers wondered why. During renovations, workers discovered the sanitary sewer line went around the yard and down the driveway instead of going straight. To make improvements to the system, they decided to run the line right under the yard.

“As they were boring, they hit a block wall,” Burgess said. “They found the basement to the original home that sat there.”

The original house would have been about lined up with the other houses on the block. “I guess when it was knocked down, the basement was filled in” and the current house built behind that, he said.

A tenant is waiting to move into the house. But a tree fell and broke a bedroom’s double-pane window during the recent storms. A new window has been ordered, Burgess said.

The house at 109 E. Third St. is completely new. “The old house had a bad foundation and was so full of lead,” Burgess said. “We determined, and the city agreed, that we should demolish the whole house and start new.”

So the two-story building with a small shed in the back was torn down and replaced with a one-story home with a two-car garage. “For cost reasons, we decided to keep it as a one-floor home,” Burgess said.

The low roofline may have saved the house from damage during the recent storms. It sits between two two-story houses, one of which sustained roof damage. The new home’s front yard did lose its lone tree, which fell and was pushed onto the street.

The other two homes are at 521 E. Fifth St. and 1243 N. Cherry St.

The fifth home to be renovated, on Sycamore Street, sustained damage in the recent inclement weather. That must be fixed before the renovations can start, Burgess said.

Tri-Cap is using local contractors to complete the buildings, Better Homes & Construction of Huntingburg and Wagner Brothers Construction of Jasper so far. Bids have not yet been let for the Sycamore Street project.

Contact Candy Neal at cneal@dcherald.com.




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