LI’s discussion series Shelter, which focused on the housing crisis in Indianapolis, attracted a cross-section of city leaders, community advocates and those with lived experience of discrimination and housing insecurity.

The series was the subject of a recent article in the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper.

‘We have a housing crisis’: Panels dissect housing in Indianapolis

Leadership Indianapolis hosted a series of virtual panels throughout February to discuss the housing situation in Indianapolis and try to find solutions.

Housing can be an intimidating subject because of its complexity, but policy experts, housing professionals and organizers attempted to lift the veil for viewers over the course of three sessions, each dedicated to a different aspect of housing.

What is the housing situation in Indy?

The first questions to answer for the series Feb. 2 were simple but could lead to complicated answers: Does Indianapolis have a housing crisis, and why? Joe Hanson, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, said there’s no need to make the issue too complex.

“We have a housing crisis,” he said, “because housing costs more than people can pay.”

At the time of the panel, Hanson said there were only 333 homes on the market in Marion County that fall between $75,000 and $140,000, whereas six years ago there were about 2,500 houses in that range.

Lourenzo Giple, from Rottmann Collier Architects, said it all goes back to redlining.
“Everything we have now is a trickling down of sorts,” he said. “It’s connected to everything we do.”

Indianapolis is now seeing “reverse flight,” Giple said, which represents the opposite of white flight in the 1950s and ‘60s. White people want back in, and that creates an unbalance, especially in neighborhoods that have been dealing with disinvestment for decades.

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