INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced a new affordable housing program called Vacant to Vibrant.
Mayor Hogsett announced the program Tuesday morning with city officials and community leaders in front of an abandoned home on Eugene Street. Vacant to Vibrant’s goal is to make more opportunities for residents to have affordable homes and rentals at city-owned properties.
“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 press release. “Vacant to Vibrant is just the latest tool in the City’s toolbox that seeks to develop neighborhoods responsibly and sustainably. We’re committed to making bold choices to provide Indianapolis residents and families with a safe place to live. I look forward to seeing the community-driven, transformative change that Vacant to Vibrant brings to neighborhoods.”
The program will focus on downtown Indianapolis by the Near Northwest, Martindale-Brightwood, and Near Eastside areas.
Funding for Vacant to Vibrant comes from $4.5 million given by the American Rescue Plan Act. The properties involved in the program will go to residents at or below 80% of the area’s median income, which the press release says, is $73,050 a year for a family of four.
Vacant to Vibrant was created by the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) and their 2021 Anti-Displacement Agenda, which gave recommendations to help fight racial disparities in housing, make permanent supporting housing units, and to make housing more affordable.
DMD used their Anti-Displacement Agenda and data, such as property inventory and the local housing data, to focus on Vacant and Vibrant.
“The line between redevelopment vs. gentrification of older neighborhoods is often thin and hard to walk,” said Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili, whose downtown district includes two of the neighborhoods targeted by the program. “The Vacant to Vibrant program strikes precisely the balance we need to ensure that redevelopment builds racial and financial equity for residents while addressing the challenge of vacant properties and the negative impact they often have on the civic and economic health of our neighborhoods.”
Non-profits, Community Development Corporations, and real estate developers are eligible to submit development proposals. They must contextually align with the specific neighborhoods and have a design that follows the DMD’s Infill Housing guidelines.
A neighborhood advisory committee will be giving direct feedback on these proposals before they are awarded to the developer.
The Vacant to Vibrant applications can be found at https://www.indy.gov/activity/community-development-grants and the proposals are due at noon on March 31st, 2023.
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