July 10, 2024

Indianapolis unveils affordable housing unit for youth experiencing homelessness

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett during Wednesday’s ribbon cutting on a new affordable housing apartment complex. - Ben Thorp / WFYI

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett during Wednesday’s ribbon cutting on a new affordable housing apartment complex.

Ben Thorp / WFYI

Indianapolis officials and community leaders held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday for a new 48-unit apartment building offering affordable housing to city residents.

Ten units have been set aside specifically for youth experiencing homelessness.

The new apartment building on Indianapolis’ east side will offer on-site support services. It’s open to families earning between 30 to 60% of the area median income.

Andrew Neal, CEO of Outreach Indiana, which has a goal of ending youth homelessness, said there are an estimated 7,800 youth in Marion County experiencing homelessness every year.

“Ultimately we need more affordable housing,” he said. “We’ve been saying that for several years. We also know that to build units like this takes a long time so in the meantime we need to get creative about housing solutions.”

The city also broke ground on an affordable housing project for people in recovery in May but advocates say more investment is still needed.

The owners and operators of the apartment building say the demand is so high – the property had 300 applicants on a waiting list once it opened.

The 48-unit apartment building, being called the St. Lucas Lofts, was made possible through investment from community partners, $2-million from the city, and another $10-million from CVS Health.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said private-public partnerships are essential to building more affordable housing in the city.

“By providing residents wraparound services such as healthcare, education, financial literacy, and career support this project will make a transformative difference in the lives of many people,” he said.

Wednesday’s event was attended by 19-year-old Pearlina Brown. Outreach Indiana recently helped find her housing in the city. She said she’s grateful to see the city expanding housing geared towards people like her.

“I’m grateful that they are able to get a nice apartment like this,” she said. “I’m really happy to see the youth getting an apartment. It’s hard out here. The cost of living is real hard.”

Last month, a new census report found that homelessness had increased slightly in the city compared with last year.

And across the state, affordable housing is more out of reach for Hoosiers. A report from Prosperity Indiana and the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that fourteen of the state’s top 20 occupations now pay a median wage that’s less than what’s needed for a two-bedroom apartment.


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