Bloomington, Indiana – The City of Bloomington announces the completion of Southern Knoll, an affordable apartment community in downtown Bloomington serving residents experiencing homelessness and those with intellectual disabilities. Located at 1105-1107 West Third Street in the Prospect Hill neighborhood, Southern Knoll Apartments will include 42 bedrooms in 31 units serving residents at 30 to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). A portion of the units will be reserved as permanent supportive housing for clients of Beacon and/or Stone Belt.  

This affordable housing project was developed by Milestone Ventures with federal HOME funds in the amount of $375,000 administered by the City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department. In July 2018, the Bloomington Common Council approved a 10-year 98% tax abatement for the project as an additional incentive for the development of affordable housing.

“The City is proud to have partnered in the development of this attractive, affordable, accessible, and sustainable housing for some of our most vulnerable residents, whose positive long-term outcomes depend on ‘housing first’,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “We will continue to identify opportunities to partner with builders, service providers, and funders at the local, state, and federal levels to produce affordable housing to meet the needs of many different Bloomingtonians.”

Southern Knoll offers 31 units that range from micro-units (compact apartments considered the rental equivalent of the tiny home) to three-bedroom apartments, with shared amenities including bike storage and laundry facilities. Residents share access to an adjacent community center, located in the c. 1947 limestone Gospel Tabernacle Church building that has been adaptively reused to accommodate a computer room, exercise room, community room, and offices for support services.   

“Milestone would not have been able to bring this project to completion without the support of the City of Bloomington and the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association,” said Chuck Heintzelman. “The Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission was especially helpful in providing consultation to successfully redevelop the former Gospel Tabernacle Church in a community building for Southern Knoll’s residents.”  

Southern Knoll was developed with federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) administered through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Additional partners include Old National Bank, the project’s lender and equity provider, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis.  

Southern Knoll is named for Robert Southern, the late father of Susan Rinne, longtime CEO of LifeDesigns, a service provider for individuals with disabilities and early partner in the development of Southern Knoll.  The LifeDesigns Board suggested the name to the developer to honor Rinne on her retirement.