Our Current State
Access to affordable housing continues to be very limited in many Indianapolis neighborhoods. As housing prices
increase, racial diversity decreases in many communities which then impacts the political, social and economic landscape.
A study by the Center for Community Progress shows the Near Eastside neighborhoods of Cottage Home and Holy Cross experienced a 56% decline in their Black population from 2000 to 2014 as housing prices increased.
During this same time, the overall Black population grew citywide by 17%. The historically Black neighborhood of Martindale-Brightwood’s median home price increased from $50k in April 2020 to over $130k in March 2023. The price increase far outpaces wage growth for its residents.
The small amount of properties that are considered affordable and sought after by first-time house buyers are too often purchased as an investment property—either to be demolished and replaced by a larger and more expensive home or flipped into a short-term rental for out-of-town visitors. Too often this practice displaces families—frequently people of color—who have lived in these neighborhoods for more than one generation.
Community land trusts are created and led by residents and community members to purchase and develop property for the benefit of the community and to maintain permanent affordability. In addition to investing in the neighborhood, this also shifts the power of influence away from outside investors— who often only care about financial gain—back to the residents to invest in their community and better direct its future. The Indianapolis Foundation is currently engaging with residents in historically Black neighborhoods to pursue this strategy.
In Riverside, Haughville and Martindale-Brightwood there are opportunities to support affordable housing projects, housing access not-for-profits and other family stabilization strategies. The Abundance Fund at The Learning Tree, Roots Indianapolis, Kheprw Institute, and the Westside and Martindale Brightwood CDCs are all raising money for affordable housing projects in their communities.