Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ballard Targets Neighborhoods For Abandoned Housing Funds

Eleven neighborhoods are being targeted by Mayor Greg Ballard to receive $29 million in federal funding to deal with the areas with the highest number of abandoned and foreclosed homes. The targeted areas include the neighborhoods just outside the mile square downtown, the near eastside and extending through a central part of the city along either side of I-70 from the near northside to the far eastside. You can click on this map to see if your neighborhood is included within the targeted areas. The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy explains the steps the City will take:

The city also kicked off a public comment period of 15 days to get input on how the funds should be distributed. City officials said the plan won't be completed until after a public meeting in January, with the first projects to begin after that.

In general, the money will be split between buying nearly 200 properties for the Indianapolis Land Bank, acquiring 50 units to rehabilitate and developing 70 affordable rental units. Smaller amounts will go toward demolition, new construction, financing and administration . . .

Maury Plambeck, director of the Department of Metropolitan Development, said the public comments and meetings will help determine where to focus within the target areas. He said the money would not solve the problem but would make a dent.

At least 25 percent of the money must be used to buy and redevelop abandoned or foreclosed homes for people whose incomes are not more than 50 percent of the area's median income.

The federal funding provides a large pool of money the City has not had available in the past to tackle abandoned homes. It is estimated there are anywhere between 8,000-10,000 abandoned homes in Indianapolis at present. Let's hope the City makes wise use of these funds to put a real dent in the problem.


Jacob Perry said...

The biggest problem is that the city has always made it pretty difficult to acquire these properties, at least from an investment standpoint. There are too many obstacles in place to make it worthwhile. Keep in mind that for the most part, these are not suitable to be retailed, so the general public is not going to have an interest in acquiring them.


Clicked the map of where the funds will be targeted. Did you realize that very few areas of the city are UNaffected by this blight?

artfuggins said...

The problems in many of these properties is investor owned. Look at the addresses of the owners of the properties and a large number are from Hamilton County.

roger61611 said...

This thing is full of pitfalls...

Per Tucker's website, in the IPS school district there's about 350 single family residences for sale, for less than $20,000. 350 x 15k, plus legal fees, = 6-7 million. Another 6-7 million to make them liveable gives 12-14 million, which is only half the federal money.

So that's the good news. The bad news is that's about 3 per cent of the abandoned houses. The other bad news is that you do a house here and a house there, and it won't make any difference. You have to do a whole neighborhood, or each house will go to pot because it's surrounded by other blight.

And why on EARTH are they talking about NEW construction ? Is the city nuts ? 10,000 empty houses and they want to build more ?!?!?!?!

Until proven otherwise, I don't think the city has the slightest idea what it's getting into.

Until the city fixes 'quality of life' - safe streets and safe schools - this money will be a waste. Fix QoL and the problem takes care of itself.

The city's Last Big Idea was Fall Creek Place, apparently houses are selling there for less than they cost to build a few years ago:

guido said...

Please, please do not allow the concerned clergy to be involved in this

artfuggins said...

The housing market is strong in Fall Creek Place......not what it was before the economy tanked but the prices are not plummeting.....and the sky is not falling.