Mayor Tom HenrySoon we will venture into a new year – a year full of promise and the opportunity for progress.  Just as I do in my personal life at this time of year, I’d like to take a look back at what our City has accomplished over the past 12 months and what our goals might be for 2011.
We are blessed as a community to have held our own during a time when a downturn in the economic climate has crumbled once-strong cities throughout our nation. While funding has been cut for basic operations and maintenance in communities throughout the United States, and cities and towns have stopped snow plowing, eliminated fire and police positions and allowed street lights to go dark, I have been dedicated to ensuring that our City continues providing necessary services for our residents.
Community infrastructure is at the heart of our economic development efforts.  Businesses make decisions about growing in a community or relocating to a community based on the quality and availability of reliable utilities and transportation systems.  
Our economic development efforts are geared toward bringing more jobs to the City. But an equally important goal – and one that has been a focus over the past few years — is helping Fort Wayne residents find safe and affordable housing. Hopewell Pointe Housing on Reservation Drive in Waynedale is a good example.  
Hopewell Pointe includes 35 new single-family homes.  The homes will cost an average of $160,000.  They will be leased to tenants whose household income is under 80 percent of Area Median Income.  The working families have an option to purchase their homes over a period of 15 years with rent rates (including utilities) ranging from $439 to $959 per month depending on the size of the house and family income.  Each home will be Energy Star certified building envelopes, which will enhance the homes’ overall energy efficiency.  Buyers can enjoy their homes more without the worry of current or future high utility cost burdens.  Because the development is close to established CitiLink bus lines, residents will have a variety of transportation options.
Community Action of Northeast Indiana and Keller Development have teamed to create Hopewell Pointe.  The Keller team has developed over 1,000 affordable housing units in the past 30 years.  The development turns vacant and underutilized land into a promising future for tenants and future owners.
The economic hardships that the past year has imposed on so many of our hardworking families have taken a toll on some. What I appreciate the most about Hopewell Pointe is that it will help provide an affordable housing option for families who want to move to or stay in the Waynedale area.  It provides an alternative for those affected by the credit crunch and it offers more rental housing to help our community be as inclusive as possible.
Happy holidays on behalf of the Henry family and all of our City of Fort Wayne employees. May this time be one of peace, happiness and hope for you and your family.

Mayor Tom Henry

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer