Providence prevailed on Thursday, November 15, when the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, learned that the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) had awarded tax credits for a project at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

The credits will be used to create 64 units of affordable housing for seniors by the Congregation in the current, vacant Owens Hall on the motherhouse grounds. Upon completion of the project, the building will be renamed St. Mary’s Senior Housing.  According to the IHCDA, the Congregation was awarded more than 1 million in Rental Housing Tax Credits (RHTC), $400,000 in HOME Funding and $500,000 from the agency’s Development Fund.

This was the fourth time the Congregation had applied for the tax credits. Plans for the project began in 2015 with the sisters working with Flaherty & Collins of Indianapolis. The Leadership Team of the Congregation (Sisters Dawn Tomaszewski, general superior, Lisa Stallings,vicar, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Jenny Howard and Mary Beth Klingel), issued a statement saying “We are grateful for all of the prayers and support we received when we began working with Flaherty & Collins Properties on the application for the tax credits.

The Congregation feels blessed and is ready to move ahead with this project.” According to the initial plans for the project, 20 percent of the units will serve those with “intellectual or developmental disabilities.”  “We consider it an honor to be able to work on this project and to offer – in the future – affordable housing for seniors in Vigo County and the greater Wabash Valley community,” the Leadership Team stated. “We look forward to our continuing collaboration with Flaherty & Collins as well as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Providence Health Care and other partners to bring this project to life.”

The entire process began in 2014 after the Congregation applied for, and received, funds through the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) to conduct a study of their buildings and land holdings at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.  The study recommended the transitioning out of Owens Hall. The building, built in 1959, was initially used as a novitiate for new members entering the Congregation. However, before its official closure, Owens Hall served as a residence for sisters and as the primary location for the administration offices of the Congregation.

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