While Indianapolis’ low cost of living relative to larger cities is often touted as a competitive advantage, more than 28 percent of all households – approximately 106,000 families – in Marion County are housing cost-burdened, meaning that a family is spending more than 30 percent of its income on housing, according to Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd. And if median wages in the region continue to stagnate or decline, as they have since 2010, we expect that number will increase.
One critical piece of the inclusive growth puzzle is affordable, transit-accessible housing. Thus, to promote inclusive growth in Indianapolis, our organizations – the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership® (INHP), Cinnaire, and JPMorgan Chase – are partnering with the City of Indianapolis and other financial institutions, to launch the city’s first $15 million equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD) fund.
[...] Families that are housing cost-burdened often face difficult choices between housing affordability, quality and location. In places where affordable housing is not situated near jobs or transit, families often face higher transportation costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after housing, transportation is the second largest expense for the average American household. In Indianapolis, the Center for Neighborhood Technology found Indianapolis households spend 46 percent of their income on housing and transportation combined, compared to Cincinnati, Ohio, where households spend 42 percent and Buffalo, N.Y. residents who spend 39 percent.