Public AffairsEnvironment / November 22, 2013

City Turns $29M Grant Into $79M Of Investment

Sam Klemet
City Turns $29M Grant Into $79M Of Investment

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Indianapolis $29 million to renovate neighborhoods with a large number of abandoned and foreclosed properties.

Today, the city says that grant has sparked $79 million in additional investments in the five communities.

Director of the Department of Metropolitan Development Adam Thies says the improvement of these neighborhoods is important to the city's overall growth.

"There are tidal waves of change in society, and for 50 years a lot of that title wave was moving out of the city," he said.  "Now, there are some tidal waves moving back to the city and this is all a part of that evolution."

The city created 518 housing units, created 12 parks and demolished more than 300 vacant properties using the initial grant.

The values of the rehabbed properties went from just over $4.5 million in 2009 to $12 million this year.

"Not only are we stabilizing our neighborhoods, we are really setting the pattern for them to keep improving in the future," said former DMD Director Maury Plambeck.

The neighborhoods where the project occurred were Mapleton Fall Creek, Indy East Asset Development, Englewood, South East Neighborhood Development/Concord and The Meadows.

"It's a way in which you take $29 million, you didn't sprinkle it around like fairy dust and you had impact," said John Kraus with the IU Center of Urban Policy.  "It leveraged a lot of other resources.  So, the process worked."