U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Evansville lies in the southwest corner of Indiana on the Ohio River along the Kentucky border. It is 176 miles from Indianapolis and 126 miles from Louisville, Kentucky. Located in Vanderburgh County, Evansville is the third largest city in Indiana, supporting a population of 126,272, and covering 41 square miles.

Action Plan

In the upcoming fiscal year, Evansville anticipates receiving $4,939,000 in entitlement grant funds and $617,000 in program income funds for housing and community development projects. Development projects include: crime prevention; emergency shelter; senior citizens and youth services; historic preservation; code enforcement; business development; and housing acquisition, rehabilitation, and repairs.

Citizen Participation

Evansville held three hearings to receive citizen input which could be used in developing the Consolidated Plan. The city gathered comments on community needs at a hearing held on August 31, 1994. The city obtained public input on the Consolidated Plan at another hearing held on November 9, 1994, at the Kennedy Towers senior citizen public housing development. Beginning October 15, 1994, a draft of the plan was posted in libraries, community centers, and the Department of Metropolitan Development so that citizens would have the opportunity to review the plan.


Although the number of available manufacturing jobs have fallen, the region remains a respected center for manufacturing, warehousing, and wholesaling. The area's largest employers are ALCOA, which produces aluminum sheeting and ingots, and Whirlpool Refrigerators.

The city's retail trade and service industries have grown, including insurance, finance, and health services. The area's next largest employers are Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical, the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, and two hospitals. Since 1990 total non-agricultural wage and salaried jobs have increased 9 percent, with most of that growth occurring in trade and services jobs. Furthermore, the average weekly wage in Vanderburgh County in 1991 was $390.

According to the 1990 census, whites comprised nearly 90 percent of the city's population, while African Americans comprised almost 10 percent, and other racial and ethnic groups comprised the remaining 0.9 percent. Although over half of all minorities live in the downtown area, they are not concentrated in specific tracts, as they were in 1980.



Based on historical trends, Evansville is not expected to experience any major population increases during the next 5 years. The city has steadily lost population since 1950, with 4,224 people leaving between 1980 and 1990. Therefore, overall housing needs should not change drastically within the next 5 years.

However, the housing and supportive service needs for specific groups are expected to increase. A stable job market, available social service support systems, and ample medical facilities and services will continue to attract very low-income people and disabled people who are looking for better economic opportunities. They will most likely need housing assistance as well as other financial and support systems.

Housing Needs

Among low-income households, 75 percent of households earning 0-30 percent of the median family income (MFI) and 68 percent of those earning 31-50 percent of MFI have experienced some type of housing problems. The needs of minority renters are no greater than those of other renter groups. Housing problems include: overcrowding; physical deterioration of housing units; and cost burdens, which force families to spend more than 30-50 percent of income on housing costs.

Homeowners faced a different situation. Among households earning 0-30 percent of MFI, 71 percent reported housing problems, while 86 percent of minority households reported problems. Among households earning 31-50 percent of MFI, 36 percent reported housing problems, while 54 percent of minority households reported problems. Among households earning 51-80 percent of MFI, only 20 percent reported housing problem, while 34 percent of minority households reported problems. Among elderly owner households, just under 44 percent reported housing problem, while 76 percent of minority households reported problems.

More than 4 percent of very low-income households are living in overcrowded conditions. However, for owner-occupied households at all income levels, overcrowding poses a relatively minor problem. Although large families (containing more than 4 members) comprise only 7 percent of low-income renter households, overcrowding affects 38 percent of those households.

Market Conditions

Even though Evansville's population decreased between 1980 and 1990, the number of housing units increased by about 7 percent. A number of new housing construction trends developed during the 1980s. While the construction of new multifamily units substantially outnumbered the construction of single-family homes between 1980 and 1983, single- family homes boomed between 1984 and 1986. Beginning in 1987, both single-family and multifamily unit construction declined.

In 1990 there were 58,188 housing units in Evansville, with 59 percent being owner- occupied and 44 percent being renter-occupied. Of all renter households in Evansville, 9,460 (44 percent) are very low-income, and 5,724 of these are owner-occupied households.

Although almost half of the rental units cost between $250 and $499 per month, approximately 44 percent of those units cost less than $250 per month. Only 1 percent cost $1,000 or more per month. Of owner-occupied units, nearly half are valued at less than $50,000, while most of the other units are valued between $50,000 and $99,000.

The city has about a 2 percent vacancy rate for owner units and about a 10 percent vacancy rate for rental units. Low- and moderate-income non-public housing apartments have a vacancy rate of about 5 percent.

Affordable Housing Needs

Very low-income households earning 0-30 percent of MFI experience the most housing problems, including spending more than 30-50 percent of their income for housing costs. Nearly 70 percent of very low-income renter and 51 percent of owner-occupied households spend over 30 percent for housing. Comparatively, about 35 percent of all low-income households experience housing problems, while only 19 percent of moderate-income households experience housing problems.

Homeless Needs

In 1992 the Evansville Coalition for the Homeless conducted monthly surveys of local emergency shelters and human service agencies that help the homeless and found that an average of 505 homeless people received shelter or services. This figure included 342 adults and 163 children. The coalition survey also identified a monthly average of 95 households who were seeking funds to prevent eviction. An estimated 29 percent of these households were families with children.

The city has 10 shelters that serve homeless people. These include the following:

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Evansville Housing Authority (EHA) operates 1,247 housing units. EHA needs to rehabilitate 63 units for persons with mobility impairments and 26 units for persons with audio or visual impairments. With the help of a HOPE I Home Ownership grant, 15 scattered units will be rehabilitated and sold to low-income residents. These will be replaced with an equal number of new construction units reserved for low-income families.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The city evaluated relevant public policies and determined that none of the policies created barriers to affordable housing. Regulations governing subdivision lot sizes were not overly restrictive. In compliance with Federal and State codes, manufactured housing was permitted on most lots. The city established a One-Stop Permit Center for non-residential permits. It is also working to expand the system to include residential permits.

Fair Housing

In 1995 Evansville anticipates using $23,450 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for fair housing outreach and training. The city will require that property owners, whose properties contain five or more HOME assisted housing units, follow the city's affirmative marketing guidelines. These guidelines designed to ensure that individuals, who might not normally apply for vacant HOME assisted units because of possible discriminatory factors, are aware of the vacancies, are encouraged to apply, and have an opportunity to rent the units.

Lead-Based Paint

An estimated 62 percent of renter households and 73 percent of owner households contain lead-based paint. A greater percentage of very low-income households live in older housing units which are more likely to contain lead-based paint.

In 1989 Evansville passed a municipal ordinance that made the Vanderburgh County Health Department responsible for testing children for lead poisoning. The ordinance also made the Vanderburgh County Health Department responsible for enforcing lead-based paint hazard abatement in residences housing children under the age of 6. Environmental audits are conducted using water sampling and an x-ray fluoroscope, which provides instant analysis of the lead content in paint.

Evansville's Housing Authority has a lead-based testing program that works in conjunction with the Vanderburgh County Health Department. Furthermore, nonprofit organizations involved in CDBG, HOME, or Emergency Shelter Grant-funded rehabilitation projects are responsible for identifying and abating lead-based paint hazards in their projects.

Other Issues

An HIV/AIDS surveillance report issued by the Indiana State University Department of Health identified 97 people with AIDS and 83 people with HIV in Vanderburgh County. Persons with AIDS face discrimination, housing problems, loss of income, loss of health insurance, and difficulty accessing social service networks. All of these issues increase the potential for homelessness.

Community Development Needs

The city has listed a number of community development needs and identified those that are a priority. High priority public facility needs include: youth centers, neighborhood facilities, child care centers, and parks and recreation facilities. High priority public service needs include: senior services, youth services, crime awareness, fair housing counseling, child-care services, healthservices, and other public services. High priority economic development needs include: assistance to micro-businesses and other businesses, and technical assistance. Other high priority needs include code enforcement and planning.


Housing Priorities

Evansville has developed a list of priorities which it will address within the next 5 years. These priorities have been designed to meet the city's immediate and long-terms needs.

The needs of small renter households receive high priority. The best method for providing rental assistance to this group would be to substantially increase the number of Section 8 certificates and vouchers. As a short-term alternative, Evansville would like to provide tenant-based rental assistance using additional HOME funds. Furthermore, the city wants to provide nonprofit corporations with funds for acquiring and rehabilitating rental property.

The needs of elderly renter households receive high priority. A main objective is removing physical defects from public housing for the elderly. Evansville has also allocated a substantial portion of its CDBG funds to rehabilitate owner-occupied housing. This rehabilitation has always been a goal of the CDBG program and continues to be a priority.

The needs of the homeless are also a housing priority. The city will continue to support programs that provide financial assistance to pay rent, deposits, and utilities. This assistance will help to prevent evictions, utility shut-offs, and homelessness. The city will also give high priority to developing methods for outreach and assessment services.

Emergency shelter and transitional housing facilities are a continuing need. The currently operating shelters need rehabilitation. Also, additional emergency housing for people with special needs is a priority.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Evansville's general strategy for non-housing community development is to assist people of low- and moderate-income, while strengthening targeted neighborhoods. Short- and long- term objectives toward implementing this strategy include:

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The 1990 census reported that approximately 13 percent of the city's population was below the poverty level. Evansville has little control over many of the programs designed to reduce the number of households living in poverty. Furthermore, the programs which the city can control are economic development programs that focus on creating and retaining jobs for low- and moderate-income people. The city also funds two nonprofit organizations that provide businesses with technical and financial assistance to promote job creation.

In order to reduce the number of households with incomes below the poverty level, Evansville plans to recruit new businesses, while retaining and encouraging the growth of existing businesses. The city's objective is to increase the community's employment base. As part of this plan, Evansville will fund the Neighborhood Economic Development Center and Metro Business Assistance Program which provides small businesses with technical and financial assistance.

Businesses that create new jobs will be encouraged to recruit local employees and those persons who have participated in State and Federal job training programs aimed at people from poverty-level households. The city will continue to foster small business development through participation in the Small Business Providers Group, the small business incubator, and the Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council.

Housing and Community Development Resources

Evansville anticipates using a number of available Federal resources to meet housing and community development needs. However, the amount of non-Federal resources are extremely limited. The city expects private resources to contribute some funds, but these contributions to the city and nonprofit housing organizations will be matching funds for the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) program.

Other resources include the Department of Metropolitan Development and the Urban Homesteading Program, which receives foreclosed houses and utilizes them as Federal resources. Another resource is Habitat of Evansville, which plans to build 23 new homes in 1995, and will raise a minimum of $30,000 for each home.

Six local lenders are participating in a mortgage credit certificate program. The Indiana Housing Finance Authority administers the Low-income Housing Tax Credit Program, the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program, and below market rate mortgage revenue bonds.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Although no formal interagency cooperation exists between Evansville and the various nonprofit organizations that deliver housing and supportive services, considerable coordination does take place. The city also provides a number of these organizations with funding received from Federal programs. For those groups receiving funds from the city, the Department of Metropolitan Development has agreements that govern the funding and establish monitoring and reporting mechanisms. Also, various community organizations and coalitions enable the city to coordinate with many of these groups.


Description of Key Projects

In the upcoming fiscal year, Evansville anticipates having $4,939,000 in entitlement grant funds and $617,000 in program income funds for housing and community development projects. Some of these projects include:


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Evansville's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Mariann D. Kolb, Director
Department of Metropolitan Development

Return to Indiana's Consolidated Plans.