John Marron, report author and former Sr. Policy Analyst, Public Policy Institute, discussing affordable housing.

John Marron, report author and former Sr. Policy Analyst, Public Policy Institute, discussing affordable housing.

“Lower housing costs make housing more affordable. Raising income makes everything more affordable.” – John Marron

On Thursday, October 6, WFYI hosted a SAVI Talks! presentation, “The Changing Affordable Housing Market.” The event featured highlights from a soon-to-be-released report analyzing affordable housing issues in Central Indiana, helping organizations and communities to better understand the market so their efforts might more strategically impact service provision. The report is scheduled for publication in mid-November.

The SAVI Talks! program:

  • Touched upon the difference between subsidized housing and the far broader notion of housing affordability
  • Addressed how broader market forces impact affordability
  • Discussed how the squeeze on affordability impacts families and households beyond housing
  • Suggested place-oriented and people-oriented strategies to increasing affordability

Speakers included John Marron, former Senior Policy Analyst, Public Policy Institute (PPI), and author of the report, “The Affordable Housing Market and Why It Matters,” on which he collaborated with SAVI and The Polis Center at IUPUI (his PowerPoint slides are available here); Christie Gillespie, Vice President, Community Impact, United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI), who addressed the implications of housing choices for our community (her PowerPoint slides are available here); and Gail Strong, Vice President, Community Engagement, WFYI, who facilitated reflection and discussion among event participants.


Poverty simulation exercise addressing budgeting dilemmas.

Guests also participated in a poverty simulation exercise, which gave an eye-opening experience into the hard decisions those earning  a low to moderate income have to make, especially when unexpected expenses occur such as car trouble, health care issues, and job losses. These challenges affect everything from housing choices, food, transportation, education, and healthcare options, making it nearly impossible for families to improve their lives.

Many thanks to SAVI Talks! program partners the Polis Center at IUPUI, WFYI, United Way of Central Indiana, and The City of Indianapolis, and to presentation sponsors: the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP), Herman & Kittle Properties, and the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts.

SAVI Talks!, offered biannually, are informational public forums featuring report findings from a trending topic in the following categories:  health, education, basic needs, and income. Previous reports include: Worlds Apart, Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area and Trends in Crime: Does Perception Match Reality. Download here.

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