READI Funding holds $153 million in investments for southern Ind.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Friday, the Indiana First READI Region provided updates on 19 economic development projects approved to receive funding.
The group announced that its $15 million READI award will leverage as much as $153 million in additional investments throughout the region.
According to a release, the Indiana first region includes Harrison, Knox, Perry, Pike and Spencer counties.
Officials say the projects include nine housing developments across all five counties, resulting in more than 290 single-family homes, and 180 apartments. That’s $7.5 million for public infrastructure, and $101 million in local public and private investments.
A release shows there are six economic and workforce development projects being funded, which accounts for $5.6 million of READI funding, and will hold another $50 million in local investments. These projects include workforce training for health careers, industrial park improvements and a case study for previously mined lands.
Chris Pfaff is the Vice Chair of the Indiana READI Group, and he says the $153 million in additional investments they were able to leverage is integral to making change.
“The READI program really encourages that cooperation regionally, and for us to think about the things that are impacting us on a regional level,” says Pfaff.
Breaking things down, of the 19 total projects being funded, 12 of them are in Spencer, Pike, and Perry Counties.
In total, there are six housing projects, three economic and workforce development projects, and three quality of life projects for those counties.
Pfaff says the reason for this focus comes from untold hours of their team studying and spending time in these communities, learning their needs, specifically on the housing side, where over half the funding will be used.
“For us to be able to use these dollars to add capacity in water, in sewer, in fiber, all those things that it takes to develop housing,” explains Pfaff, “we felt like that was probably our most challenged area.”
In Pfaff’s eyes, and based off their research, expanded housing opportunities provide a trickle-down effect, impacting the workforce, population, and economic growth.
Friday morning was just a jumping off point to dig into their various projects and really talk about the impact they’re hoping to have.
“The last year and a half, many of us in this region have spent untold hours working toward this, and so it’s nice to step back for a minute and sort of celebrate the success that you’ve earned,” says Pfaff.
Success Pfaff says they worked for, and with their mix of men and women who are wholly invested in bettering their communities, he says he’s excited to see these projects begin popping up in the near future.
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