December 3, 2021

New plan focuses on affordable housing amidst redevelopment

Some properties along the Monon Trail are being redeveloped. (file photo)

Some properties along the Monon Trail are being redeveloped. (file photo)

The city is trying to preserve and increase affordable housing in one Indianapolis neighborhood primed for redevelopment.

A proposal in front of the Department of Metropolitan Development, DMD, designates a new redevelopment area plan for Martindale-Brightwood.  The historically Black community is undergoing change, which can lead to consequences like displacement and gentrification. 

DMD has worked closely with neighborhood groups over the past two years to find ways to keep people in homes and provide housing opportunities for others.

Senior planner with DMD Daniel Hedglin said community members are deeply engaged as redevelopment continues.

“Both recognizing that some of these impacts can be positive but some of these impacts can potentially have negative impacts in the neighborhood especially when it comes to things like affordability,” Hedglin said.

The new proposal also creates a Housing Tax Increment Finance, or HOTIF, district to support housing for low-income residents in the Hillside neighborhood.  DMD Project Manager Ellen White said the economic tool can leverage opportunity.

“So where normal TIF, mostly just the increment is collected, in a HOTIF all of the improvement taxes are collected in the district,” White said.

An advisory committee will identify ways to spend funds, including housing and infrastructure improvements.

The last HOTIF designated in Indianapolis was for the near eastside in 2006.

The DMD says the program aligns with equitable housing policy goals and vision.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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