LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – County and city leaders,
builders, developers and realtors in Tippecanoe County went to Monday’s
housing strategy meeting to listen.
“We want to hear what people want,” said Jay Andrew, a board member for the Builders Association of Greater Lafayette.
Greenstreet consulting took a year to find out what people want when it comes to housing.
“More and more people are feeling the pinch and having
trouble meeting the housing needs on their own income,” said Mark
O’Neall, Senior Associate at Greenstreet.
Understanding what homeowners and renters value, could
help stakeholders understand where to invest and where to cut cost. The
study found household sizes are changing.
“People living alone or just with a partner are growing a lot faster than families,” said O’Neall.
“Families used to be larger than what they are and now
they are much smaller,” said Lafayette Director of Economic Development
Dennis Carson. “You know, having less children and then people getting
married later, so, all of those things are effecting those housing
In many cases, those smaller families are looking for
less space. Andrew can see this type of housing work in downtown
“Some more of the high rise mix use stuff, so you can
kind of have a restaurant down below, have some of the amenities some
people are looking for,” said Andrew.
However, the city knows it can’t be limited to downtown. They’ll have to expand to surrounding neighborhoods to be successful.
“Have enough rooftops and people that would support a downtown grocery store,” said Carson.
Their overall goal isn’t just to house people, it’s to give them a place they want to live, a forever home.
“Just making sure that we are a fun city to live in you
can prosper here but you can also have fun on a week night, a weekend
and be happy with your daily life,” said Builders Association of Greater
Lafayette member Jennie Dekker.
The Indianapolis Neighborhood
Housing Partnership has launched a loan fund intended to create and preserve
affordable housing along the city’s public transportation lines.
The $15 million Equitable Transit-Oriented
Development Fund was launched in collaboration with Michigan-based Cinnaire, a
community development financial institution with offices in Indianapolis, which
will manage the fund.
INHP will be the fund’s sole borrower and
will acquire existing buildings or vacant or underused properties, with the
goal of maintaining or developing mixed-use, mixed-income housing.
The ultimate objective of the fund is to
preserve or spur development of 1,000 affordable housing units within close
distance of an Indianapolis transit stop over the next five years. The units
would be leased to eligible tenants.
“We believe everyone should have equal
opportunity to live in a neighborhood with easy access to employment, health
care, child care, education, food and support services,” said INHP president
and CEO Moira Carlstedt.
John Marron, director of strategic
planning for IndyGo, said the fund would help “ensure housing costs remain
affordable in locations with easy access to transit” as the IndyGo bus service
undergoes an expansion in Indianapolis with an increase in service and creation
of three bus rapid transit lines.
The fund is composed of $12 million in
lending capital from First Merchants Bank, National Bank of Indianapolis, Lake
City Bank and First Financial Bank. It also has $3 million in equity funding:
$1.5 million from the INHP, $1 million from the city of Indianapolis and a
$500,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase. The fund already has $5 million in lines of
credit contributed by banks; and the rest is in various stages of closing,
according to INHP.
The idea of the fund is to give the INHP
access to more low-interest financing to complete more projects.
Rick Laber, Cinnaire’s executive Vice
President for new ventures, said he is encouraged by the initial interest from
banks to participate in the fund.
“This couldn’t happen without the bankers
having a heart for the mission of what we’re talking about,” Laber said. “This
needed to be low-cost, patient capital. The banks have stepped up with
low-cost, patient capital.”
The city of Indianapolis’ contribution
comes from Department of Metropolitan Development funds, according to a city
“Today is a fantastic day for the city of
Indianapolis,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said. “This tremendous partnership will make
our city a more equitable city, a more thriving city, and … one that is a prime
example of a public drive partnership done well.”
So far, INHP has acquired two properties
using the fund, 401 Southern Avenue near Garfield Park, and 2163 N. Illinois
St., which is north of downtown. Both stops are close to future IndyGo Red Line
“We’ll see activity on these parcels
hopefully soon,” said Carlstedt.
The initiative comes as the result of an
idea INHP heard during the community visioning process called Plan 2020 from
Indianapolis resident Gary Reiter, who thought the city had a problem with a
lack of affordable housing, especially around transit routes.
INHP then conducted studies that showed
his hunch was correct. It also found that transit and housing costs were eating
up an average of 46 percent of Indianapolis residents’ income.
“The vision he had was to combine the
ever-growing transit system with the problem he saw as a shortage of affordable
housing,” said Joe Hanson, INHP’s executive vice president for capital
development and strategic initiatives. “This tool is intended to address both
of those challenges. It addresses the lack of supply of safe, decent affordable
housing but more importantly, aligns that with high-quality, frequent, reliable
transit. It’s about creating those opportunities for inclusive economic
Carlstedt said the fund was also made
possible because of a $26.6 million grant in 2015 from the Lilly Endowment to
INHP, which helped fund INHP’s contribution.
“They said to the board and staff, ‘Seize
opportunities, be innovative and do more of what you do well,’” Carlstedt said.
“The equitable transit fund is an example of seizing opportunity and being
By Alex Brown, Multimedia Journalist, Inside Indiana Business 1/28/2019
The city of
Indianapolis and the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township have
unveiled a partnership focused on workforce development and improving
neighborhood quality of life. The city says it will allocate $300,000 to
fund adult education programs for Marion County residents in
opportunity job sectors that are in high-demand but have unfilled
positions. An additional $90,000 will go toward the district’s Area 31
Student Construction Vocational Program.
In an interview with
Inside INdiana Business, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the
partnership shows the power of the public and private sectors coming
together to not only help adults find jobs, but prepare young people for
high-wage jobs that are currently in demand.
“I don’t think that
there is anything that warms my heart, and I’m sure I speak for many,
many parents throughout the Indianapolis community, for a young person
who’s about ready to graduate from high school to truly have many, many
different options and many opportunities. That’s what we ought to be
giving each and every one of our young people.”
The city says the
adult education programs target industries including HVAC, welding,
clinical certified medical assisting and dental assisting.
Area 31 Student Construction Vocational Program provides students with
real-world work experience in high-wage, high-demand jobs in Marion
County. Monday’s announcement took place at a home built by students
enrolled in that program. Area 31 students have built two homes, with a
third set to be complete by the end of the school year and construction
on a fourth to begin in August.
The city and school district say
economic and development nonprofit Indy Gateway played a key role in
putting the agreement together. The organization pushes for the
revitalization of westside neighborhoods.