Half of Center Township's houses are rentals, by far the highest percentage in the county. Many rentals are apartments, which still enjoy relatively high occupancies, in part because of a reliance on residents using Section 8 federal housing vouchers. But the pool of people who want single-family rentals in Center Township is small, though no statistics exist to show it.
The proof comes in comments from numerous landlords, including officers of the Central Indiana Real Estate Investors Association, and a drastic fall-off in demand for Center Township homes on delinquent property tax lists.
Of the record 2,400 unwanted properties from the latest Marion County tax sale, in January, about 70 percent lie in Center Township. The county hopes to sell those properties at special auctions starting this summer.
The decline of rental investors in Center Township "is a concern," said Olgen Williams, Indianapolis' deputy mayor for neighborhoods. "We need to have affordable properties. It's challenging for landlords."
One of the city's solutions has been its demolition program, which last year razed 270 houses countywide, most in Center Township.
Williams, a former community organization official, said he thinks an answer lies in landlords working with the city and residents' groups to revive Center Township neighborhoods, one street at a time . . .
Deputy Mayor Williams is hopeful the city will soon get several million dollars of federal economic stimulus funds for housing development. But pouring money into housing rehabs won't work unless residents with decent-paying jobs can be found to move into the homes, he said.
Notice the City will have to count on federal dollars to deal with the housing problem in the inner city. For the billionaire sports team owners, they'll rely on higher taxes from you to pay for those spending demands. I guess the jobs boom promised by the investment in these facilities aren't attracting enough decent-paying jobs to allow the utilization of available housing. Compounding the problem for Center Township is the fact that Center Township has more tax-exempt property than any other township in the state of Indiana because of all of the government, education, health care and other nonprofit organizations based in and around the downtown area. With fewer viable housing properties, it's up to the remaining taxpayers to shoulder the burden of paying for services.