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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 Aug 9, 2016

What Type of Businesses are Located in Your Neighborhood? — IndyVitals Blog Series

By Tim Bailey, Data Analysis & Visualization Intern

Have you ever wondered exactly what type of businesses are offered in your neighborhood or an area in which you’d like to live and be close to your job? Interested in food services, hospitality, finance/insurance, healthcare, or retail? This information is readily available with the digital tool IndyVitals. Using the interactive map below, select an Indianapolis neighborhood to see what job sectors show up.

The shaded map represents the percentage of residents employed in their own neighborhood. You may determine the total number of jobs per neighborhood (the bubble and pie charts illustrate the actual number and the percentage of total jobs that each economic sector represents respectively for the chosen neighborhood area and all of Marion County) and you can compare the per capita income of the chosen neighborhood to that of all of Marion County. Did you enjoy this dashboard? Check out indyvitals.org to learn more about your neighborhood!

 

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Posted by Allegra East on Aug 5, 2016

A Guide to Traversing Indianapolis Without a Car — IndyVitals Blog Series

By Tim Bailey, Data Analysis & Visualization Intern

Marion County in Central Indiana has noted a trend, especially among young people, of a preference for a car-less existence and mixed zones of residential, green space, and businesses in an appealing environment. People want to live and work close enough that they can walk or bike. Although not formerly considered a city that offered many options in that regard, Indianapolis is working on making the city a better place to live, work and visit. Improvements have been made with the provision of extensive greenways such as the Monon and Cultural Trails, electric car-sharing services such as Blue Indy, bike sharing programs, and a more user-friendly IndyGo bus route network.

The six maps below compile data from the online IndyVitals tool to help you better understand the walkability and livability of Indianapolis neighborhood areas. The different metrics characterize neighborhoods by the ease with which one can get around using public transportation and pedestrian friendly routes. The walk, bike, and transit scores come from walkscore.com, a site and data collection originally built by Front Seat with the mission of promoting walkable neighborhoods as a simple solution to improve health, the environment, and the economy. (You can check out their full methodology here: walkscore.com/methodology.shtml.) The rest of the data was compiled by the staff of The Polis Center.

IndyVitals offers a tremendous amount of information about various Indianapolis neighborhoods. We encourage you to visit indyvitals.org and explore the areas in which you may want to live so you have a good snapshot to help make decisions.

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