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

Consolidated Plan Contact


Located in central Indiana, the city of Indianapolis is a transportation hub that has attracted corporate headquarters from manufacturing to medical research. Indianapolis has a diverse economic base and employment composition with 18 percent manufacturing; 9 percent finance, insurance and real estate; 34 percent service; and 39 percent retail wholesale, utilities and constsruction. Eleven colleges and universities located in, or nearby the city, broaden educational choices available to residents. Home to the State capitol, the world's largest children's museum and a host of amateur sports competitions, the city is perhaps best known for the Indianapolis 500 mile race which draws spectators from around the world.

Action Plan

The city of Indianapolis' housing and community development strategy focuses on adding value back to its urban neighborhoods by providing housing and economic opportunities for its urban residents. Neighborhood revitalization efforts are channeled through 14 or more community based organizations and 7 neighborhood groups, all of which have benefitted from public and private capacity building initiatives. The city uses $1.2 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, some CDBG allocations from the previous year's entitlement, $297,350 in Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds, and $4.1 million in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds.

Citizen Participation

Because Indianapolis was an early entitlement city, it was exempt from having to complete a citizen participation plan for 1995. However, to incorporate resident input, the city drew upon recent community planning activities, such as Redevelopment Area Plans, the Enterprise Community/Empowerment Zone Plan, Housing Improvement and Neighborhood Plans, the Capital Improvement Planning Process, the Indianapolis Housing Continuum, and the Action Seven Project.


Marion County -- composed of Center, Decatur, Franklin, Lawrence, Perry, Pike, Warren, Washington, and Wayne Townships -- forms the Consolidated City of Indianapolis. Between 1980 and 1990, the city's population increased by slightly more than 4 percent, with minority populations experiencing the greatest growth. In 1990, minorities constituted 22 percent of the total population. Although the white population increased by 2.4 percent, the African-American population increased by 8.7 percent (13,205); the Hispanic population increased by 25.5 percent (1,584); the Native-American population increased by 100 percent (751); and the Asian-American and Pacific Islander population increased by 74 percent (2,782). Average household size has declined, while the total number of households has increased by 4 percent during the past decade.

The city's median family income (MFI) was $37,590, which was $1,651 above the national MFI for that year. However, this figure was inflated because it included residents from neighboring Hamilton County, Indiana's wealthiest county. Almost half of all households earned more than 95 percent of MFI, but only 30 percent of African-American, 34 percent of Native-American, and 37 percent of Hispanic households earned more than 95 percent of MFI.

In 1980, 10.8 percent of the population of Marion County lived below the poverty level. By 1990 that number had risen to 12 percent, encompassing more than 95,000 persons. Indianapolis Center Township poverty levels have risen to more than 26 percent. Although many reasons for the continued urban distress and decay are interconnected, for the past 3 years, the city has been working in seven targeted neighborhoods to counteract these trends.



Indianapolis has a large, stable labor force. In 1994 the city's unemployment rate was only 4.4 percent. The diversity of its major employers -- ranging from manufacturing and health care to government organizations -- reflects the diverse nature of its economy.

Housing Needs

Approximately 26,000 renter households are extremely low-income (earning 0-30 percent of MFI), and 14,500 of them are threatened with homelessness because they spend more than 50 percent of their gross income on housing expenses. One-fourth of these households are elderly persons, and nearly half are minority.

Of the 11,595 extremely low-income homeowners, almost half spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing, and 34 percent of these homeowners are minorities.

Nearly 21,000 renter and 13,826 homeowner households are very low income (earning 31-50 percent of MFI). Elderly renters reported a higher percentage of housing problems than elderly homeowners.

Another 55,525 households are low income (earning 51-80 percent of MFI). Between 23 and 28 percent of these are minority households. Almost 30,000 households are moderate income (earning 81-95 percent of MFI).

Market Conditions

There are 325,000 housing units in Indianapolis, and 91 percent of them are occupied. Of the occupied units, 53 percent are owned, and 47 percent are rented. Overall, 10 percent of the housing stock is substandard and needs rehabilitation. Fair market rents are as follows:

Affordable Housing Needs

Approximately 78 percent of the city's housing stock is affordable to families who earn less than 80 percent of MFI, apparently indicating that a housing surplus exists. However, the units are not evenly distributed among the lower income categories, and many of the units are uninhabitable. More than 8,700 units are needed for extremely low-income households, and another 12,000 or more are needed for low-income families currently living in substandard housing.

Homeless Needs

There are nearly 1,600 homeless persons in Indianapolis, including 132 families with children. With only 694 emergency spaces for homeless individuals and families, the city has a shortage of homeless shelters. However, homeless shelter providers believe that more transitional housing is needed, not emergency shelters. Currently, only 28 transitional housing units exist.

As local nonprofit organizations work to create more transitional housing, the city's goal is to create more affordable permanent residences, including homeowner units. Because an extremely low-income family of four can afford to spend only $300 per month on housing costs, deep subsidies will be required to supply this population with safe, clean, and affordable housing.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The city has 2,740 public housing units scattered among 15 communities. More than 1,600 units are reserved for families, and 1,085 are reserved for the elderly. Four family developments are currently being revitalized, and all five senior citizen complexes will undergo heating and cooling repairs.

The city contains 7,077 project-based Section 8 housing units, operated by private and nonprofit managers. Another 19 complexes have a total of 1,216 Section 202 units.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Housing cannot be rehabilitated affordably because the city does not have a single building code standard for housing. Local property taxes also create major barriers to affordable housing. In Center Township, property taxes are 20 percent higher than in the rest of the county. However, legal changes have occurred which allow for the development of group homes and transitional housing.

Lead-Based Paint

Approximately 68 percent of Marion County's housing stock contains lead-based paint. The largest portion of contaminated units is in Center Township. An estimated 22,600 homes pose potential lead-based paint hazards.

Other Issues

Marion County reports a significant growth in the elderly population, which currently numbers close to 93,000. Support services and programs are organized by the advocacy group Central Indiana Council on Aging.

The 1990 census reported that 17 percent of all children lived below the poverty level. Child care and supervision are in extremely short supply. The city estimates that more than $58 million would be needed to provide supervision before and after school for Indianapolis children living in poverty.

About 1,300 persons with severe mental illness need supportive housing. This support may be in the form of rental subsidies, supervised group homes, or semi-independent living. Because these persons cannot seek help for themselves, outreach programs are necessary to monitor patients released from hospitals.

Marion County has 56 group homes containing 417 units for the developmentally disabled. These homes have waiting lists.

Approximately 72,000 Marion County residents have physical disabilities. This population needs affordable housing with special amenities. Currently, only 133 Section 202 units are reserved for persons with physical disabilities.

Community Development Needs

Estimates suggest that $110 million will be needed during the next 5 years for solid waste disposal improvements, and another $32 million will be needed for flood drain and water improvements. Center Township needs $369 million in infrastructure repairs.

Education and job training are high priorities for Center Township, where unemployment rates are much higher than the county's unemployment rate.


Housing Priorities

Renovation of substandard housing and alleviation of undue cost burdens are the highest housing priorities for the city. Much of the money used for rehabilitation will come from HOME funds.

Furthermore, increasing the number of homeowners is crucial for the success of the city's plan to rebuild urban neighborhoods. Indianapolis has 29,400 low-income renter households that are being targeted for first-time homeownership opportunities.

The city also plans to institute a case management system to help combat homelessness. For this plan to succeed, the city needs more housing options for homeless persons, ranging from transitional to permanent affordable housing.

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

The city's Work Force Development Division works with the Indianapolis Private Industry Council to coordinate job programs. CDBG funds will be used for job development and child-care referral services. Approximately $100,000 in CDBG funds will be used to secure a $1 million credit line that will provide loans to small businesses that could not raise their own capital.

Housing and Community Development Resources

In addition to Federal funding, Indianapolis will use non-Federal and private funding resources for numerous activities.

Acquisition can be funded through the following:

Rehabilitation can be funded through the following:

New construction can be funded through the following:

Homebuyers assistance will be funded through the following:

Rental assistance will be funded through the following:

Homeless assistance and prevention can be funded through the following:

Coordination of the Strategic Plan

The Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development's Division of Housing and Development Services and the Public Housing Division administer Federal housing funding and public housing programs. The Office of Youth and Family Services is responsible for ESG funds and administers funds for social service programs that benefit the elderly, youth, and low-income residents. The Work Force Development Division secures funds for job training and educational opportunities for underemployed and unemployed individuals. The Mayor's Office and the Department of Administration's Equal Opportunity Division assemble programs that assist new small businesses.

Indianapolis is involved in coalitions that coordinate resources and programs for its low-income residents. These partnerships include the Coalition for Human Services Planning, Indianapolis Homeless Network, Indianapolis Economic Development Alliance, Enterprise Community, and The Nearwest Side.


Description of Key Projects

Some of the key programs that will be funded with CDBG funds include:


Indianapolis will use $550,000 in CDBG funds for infrastructure improvements in seven targeted neighborhoods. Other programs will have a citywide impact.

Lead Agencies

The Housing and Development Services Division will monitor all CDBG-funded programs.


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 depicts Neighborhood Segments 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 project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Indianapolis' Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Ann Alley
Federal Grants Manager
200 East Washington, Suite 2042
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Return to Indiana's Consolidated Plans.