INDIANAPOLIS — The City of Indianapolis is launching a new, major push to build more affordable housing.
The Vacant to Vibrant housing initiative is a $4.5 million investment. It will create an affordable housing program to develop affordable homeownership and rental opportunities within city-owned properties.
"Right now, we've got a lot of development happening all in the near Northwest that doesn't look like the houses that are already here. It's like they are trying to change it into something else. So this gives us an opportunity to have some control over that," Ronald Rice, who has lived on the northwest side for most of his life, said. "We've been looking for beauty, density, and something that preserves the history of this neighborhood."
The Vacant to Vibrant properties will be available to residents at or below a 80% area median income, which is around $73,050 a year for a family of four.
The properties are located in the Near Northwest, Martindale-Brightwood and Near Eastside neighborhoods.
Non-profits, community development corporations and real estate developers are eligible to apply.
"This development effort would be a collaboration, not an imposition," Mayor Joe Hogsett said.
According to DMD, development proposals must align with specific neighborhood context and design through DMD’s Infill Housing guidelines.
In addition, Vacant to Vibrant will have a neighborhood advisory committee to provide direct feedback to city staff on proposals before projects are awarded.
"It's important that we get people at the table who actually care and give a damn about the neighborhood and not just folks looking to turn a profit and then head out, not caring what happens afterwards," Rice said.
The Vacant to Vibrant application can be found on indy.gov [indy.gov]. Proposals submitted are due to DMD at noon on March 31, 2023.