Indianapolis is routinely recognized as one of the more affordable regional housing markets in the nation. This relative affordability lies within the eye of the beholder as Indianapolis also fares relatively poorly in income inequality. To many low-and moderate-income households, the housing of their choice may be out of reach. Urban Analyst John Marron looks more deeply into this issue in the report, The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters, produced in partnership with The Polis Center at IUPUI for the SAVI community information system. The central theme of the report: affordable housing encompasses a broader range of economic issues than the price of a home.
In this report, we define the terms, affordable housing and subsidized housing, and explore the drivers and interrelatedness of each. We also look at general policy challenges in creating adequate affordable housing and the reason why it is a relevant policy goal, especially for low-income families. In addition, we provide a brief examination of policy options for local governments and civic leaders who have an interest in local and regional housing policy. All of this discussion is placed alongside relevant data for Central Indiana, Marion County, and Indianapolis.
Housing affordability is measured by the cost of housing relative to income. Solutions to make housing more affordable should include solutions oriented toward promoting the development of affordable housing as well as increasing the earning potential of low- and moderate-income families. Making housing cheaper allows households to afford housing; raising incomes allows households to better afford everything. Despite its reputation, Central Indiana can do better in helping its citizens become less cost-burdened by housing.
Financial stability for individuals and families is critical on many levels, providing a sense that one can, at minimum, consistently provide shelter and food. A living wage is a determining factor of economic stability; it is a path to quality education that provides marketable skills. Owning a home is often considered a reflection of a family’s financial health.
This magazine’s feature story, “A Better Foundation: Building Economic Prosperity with Truly Affordable Housing,” highlights a central theme of the report, The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters: that affordable housing encompasses a broader range of economic issues than the price of a home.
In addition, we share stories from area nonprofits that used SAVI data to help obtain funding for job training programs, and feature a new web tool, the community assessment and planning tool which allows users to develop custom and updatable research reports. Read now!
By Tim Bailey, Data Analysis & Visualization Intern
Poverty does not affect all populations equally. Unfortunately, women, people of color, and people with less education are statistically more likely to fall below the poverty line. However, summarized statistics cannot always tell the whole story. Often times, when studying economic indicators, it often helps to look at data spatially. Overall, the aforementioned groups may be more likely to live in poverty, but we live in a complex world with many spatial factors influencing local economies.
When looking at multiple data displayed on a single map, it is possible to illuminate many storylines playing out in local communities.. This gives a much better picture of what life and the economy look like for local Indianapolis Neighborhood areas. This dashboard attempts to do just that. The map below shows Indianapolis neighborhood areas shaded by their local poverty rate. Darker red represents higher rates of impoverishment and lighter red representing less. The poverty rates for different populations in these areas are visualized below the map.
Hopefully this dashboard has led you down a path of discovery. If you want more inspiration for a learning journey, head over to indyvitals.org to check out many different neighborhood indicators and their interactions for the diverse populations of Indianapolis.