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Edna Martin Christian Center works to make affordable housing available on the city's east side

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Nov 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-30 18:23:24-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis is facing a housing crisis.

"It gives me a little bit of anxiety," said DeAngela Hall, a prospective home buyer.

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Hall works in the Martindale-Brightwood area and grew up nearby.

"It’s good to see the changes that are happening in the neighborhood, like the revitalization of the Douglas park area and the neighborhood itself looks better, but the cost in order to stay in this area makes me a little bit nervous," said Hall.

According to the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, over the last five years, the average cost of a home in Martindale-Brightwood went up by 262%.

In April 2018, residents could buy a house for just over $36,000. In April 2023, the average price was $102,000.

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Hall says she's planning now for her future home with the Home Buyers 101 Program through the Edna Martin Christian Center and Intend Indiana. It's a four-week course aimed at helping people who are looking to own a home.

"Budgeting, cutting back, doing things that are more necessary than indulging," said Hall.

The Edna Martin Christian Center is working on creating a pipeline for home buyers. They have 16 properties that they're working on converting into affordable housing.

"We also need to make sure we are providing prospective homeowners with the education for those opportunities," said Barato Britt, president of the Edna Martin Christian Center.

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Three of the properties are rehab projects through the city's Vacant to Vibrant program, and the other 13 are currently empty lots.

Edna Martin Christian Center was recently named one of two local Bank of America Neighborhood Builders and will receive $200,000 in flexible funding and leadership training to advance economic mobility in Indianapolis.

The affordable homes will be done over the next five years.