- Indianapolis is launching a program to develop affordable housing on city-owned properties in three city neighborhoods, the city announced Tuesday.
- The city’s Vacant to Vibrant program will leverage $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to entice nonprofits, community development corporations and developers to build housing units on city lots that residents could rent or buy if they earn 80% the area median income or less — roughly $73,000 per year for a family of four.
- “The future of affordable housing is under construction: brick by brick, dollar by dollar, we’re working alongside neighborhoods to build an equitable, bright future for Indianapolis,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a statement.
Cities throughout the U.S. are grappling with an affordable housing crisis that has put the cost of renting and buying a home out of reach for many. Many municipalities have tried to increase the supply of affordable housing units through various methods, including zoning reform, streamlined approval processes, hotel or motel conversions, and raising money for various housing-related projects.
Indianapolis’ plan will utilize city-owned properties and federal funding to increase its housing supply. City officials based the Vacant to Vibrant program on property inventory, local housing data and recommendations from the city’s 2021 Anti-Displacement Agenda. The agenda recommended new policies that mitigate racial disparities in housing and build permanent supportive housing units and affordable housing near transit.
The city has also taken other steps to build more housing in recent years, including amending its zoning code and allocating over $50 million in ARPA funds for housing and neighborhood initiatives in 2021, the city stated.
Through the Vacant to Vibrant program, development proposals need to align with specific neighborhood context, abide by infill housing guidelines and will be reviewed by a neighborhood advisory committee.