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Posted by Allegra East on Feb 23, 2017

IndyVitals Can Help Your Organization Make Indy a Better Place to Live and Work

Organizations from multiple sectors trying to make Indianapolis a great place to live and work have faced the challenge of telling a common story about a particular neighborhood and making meaningful comparisons. Each entity sees a different version about a neighborhood from its perspective, which impacts the effectiveness of varied efforts to transform negative conditions into positive ones. In essence, apples are compared to oranges rather than apples to apples.

IndyVitals offers a user-friendly digital solution to this problem. The tool puts everyone on the same page, puts the data in a common framework, and simplifies access, revealing the areas of critical need and opportunity in Indianapolis neighborhood areas to guide more successful endeavors to develop and improve these communities. All organizations are able to see the same data and read the same story, responding with programs, resources, and initiatives that are relevant to the specific needs of every neighborhood.

The true power of IndyVitals is its ability to coordinate actions of community partners through data. This consequently aligns diverse planning partners toward a common goal and better organizes municipal government using common “building blocks” of neighborhood geographies.

As data can be very complex, IndyVitals offers a range of approaches to tell the story for each neighborhood. A simple one-page dashboard for neighborhood quickly tells residents and leaders how a neighborhood area has changed and how it compares to other areas or the metro. For those who want to dive deeper, such as policy analysts and decision-makers, the tool provides charts and maps that review trends, comparisons, and disparities by race, age, income, and education levels.

For organizations involved in quality-of-life, social services, and economic development programming, the tool provides a common geographical approach that tells a single story. It helps measure progress and the success of efforts.  It identifies a neighborhood’s greatest strengths and gaps in services, and targets the people and assets that can efficiently and effectively transform negatives into positives. The expectation is that multiple agencies will read the same story, resulting in greater synergy in making Indianapolis a great place to live and work.

 

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Posted by Allegra East on Nov 21, 2016

The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters

affordable-housing-report-cover-finalIndianapolis 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.

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Posted by Allegra East on Nov 21, 2016

SAVI Magazine 2016 Financial Stability edition

emagazine-winter-2016-cover-finalFinancial 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!

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