North Vernon officials wrestle with affordable housing

Affordable housing continues to be a challenge for North Vernon city officials.

The City Council and Redevelopment Commission held a joint meeting Monday night to discuss the issue. Members of the Redevelopment Commission noted that this is a good opportunity for both bodies to work together to address a major need for the community.

Members of both bodies say that the city has done much to bring businesses and jobs to North Vernon. Unfortunately, members say they have heard from business leaders that many employees live outside of the city due to a lack of affordable housing.

Shawn Gerkin, North Vernon’s clerk-treasurer, says the tax data verifies this concern. Officials agree that increased housing will better serve area businesses, their employees and improve the city’s tax base.

Members of the redevelopment commission are considering a $50,000 study to determine how best to address the housing problem. City Council voted to express its support of pursuing a solution. A decision on whether or not to proceed with the study is expected in the coming weeks.