An insufficient supply of housing is likely to slow economic growth within the region, but a sufficient supply of housing and housing choices allows people to live and work in their community, improve employee attraction and retention, promote income integration, and broaden the local tax base. Understanding the important connection between housing and economic development, Greenstreet and Lisa Sturtevant Associates were retained by the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR) and the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI) to analyze the region’s future workforce and determine housing demand for the next 20 years. Findings from the study indicate that the Indianapolis Region is underbuilding by 1,750 units each year or 35,000 housing units over the next 20 years.
In addition to calculating the future demand, Greenstreet detailed the impacts that new housing could have on local municipalities across Central Indiana. New housing must respond to the needs of the changing workforce and consumer preferences. The study shows that compact, walkable development does that, and provides cost effective service delivery, generates more tax revenue per acre, and responds to an underserved portion of the market.
The study was presented to a 200+ person crowd of housing industry professionals, economic development leaders, and elected officials with the objective of generating a collective buy-in to the changing housing needs of the Indianapolis Region. Since the release of the report, a second phase is being considered that will further analyze the health of local municipal housing markets to provide detailed tools and strategies that leverage the communities’ strengths and overcome local weaknesses.