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Fall Creek Place HOA takes vote of no confidence in The Vecino Group

No Espero Indianapolis
Posted at 5:48 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 14:32:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS — EDITOR'S NOTE: The headline of this story originally read 'Fall Creek Place HOA votes no to proposed development to help chronically homeless.' The headline has been changed to better reflect the HOA's vote of no confidence in The Vecino Group. At this time, they have not been given a proposal to go over and take a position on.

The Fall Creek Place Homeowners' Association Board of Directors on Monday took a vote of no confidence in The Vecino Group's ability to develop vacant land near the intersection of East 25th and Delaware streets.

The vote comes after a months-long pressure campaign spearheaded by Valerie Warycha to stop a proposed 40-unit supportive housing plan for those who are chronically homeless.

RELATED | Fall Creek Place website created to oppose the development

On a website dedicated to educating Fall Creek Place residents about the plan, those against it cite the safety concerns they have with a development like Espero Indianapolis going up in their neighborhood.

Mary Hoeller, who's lived in the neighborhood for the better half of a decade, says she's now rethinking her retirement plan.

"I bought this place thinking I'd be here forever. This is the last thing I thought would go in across the street from my property," Hoeller said. "I do not want to be heartless in any way. I have a lot of compassion but there's a difference between putting it here and putting it on Meridian or someplace where they could have better access to transit and food."

The project was approved for funding totaling $2.5 million dollars from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. It is part of Housing First, an initiative that aims to get people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible without preconditions or entry barriers.

The IHCDA provided the following statement on the project:

The developer applied for an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits in July 2021. The application was reviewed under IHCDA’s program year 2022 Qualified Allocation Plan which defines how applications for tax credits are reviewed and scored by IHCDA staff. Based on the application’s final score, it was recommended for funding at the November 2021 IHCDA Board of Directors meeting.

Vecino Group funding approval
A PowerPoint slide showing Vecino Group being approved for funding from the state.

On Missouri-based Vecino Group's website and social media, they say all their developments have the greater good in mind. Initially, WRTV set up a Zoom interview with Vecino Group, but they canceled, opting to send us the following statement.

“As with our residents whom we serve, the Vecino Group values our partnerships and the communities in which we work. Our developments are designed to be solutions—and we hold our permanent supportive housing at the top of this list.Since receiving approval in late 2021 from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Agency, the Vecino Group has worked diligently alongside our stakeholders—notably the IHCDA, City of Indianapolis, and the Fall Creek HOA leadership—to ensure we address their needs. The dialogue and discussions with these and other members of the community have been truly helpful as we continue the process.”

- Rick Manzardo, Vecino Group President

On Wednesday, Fall Creek Place residents will hold a meeting in person to vote on the project. It's taking place from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at The Oaks Academy Gymnasium, 2301 N. Park Street.