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

Consolidated Plan Contact


Lafayette and West Lafayette are the main cities of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, located on a major transportation corridor between Indianapolis and Chicago. West Lafayette is home to Purdue University. In addition to the two cities, the county includes four towns; it is an urban center in a primarily rural region. The inter-relationship and close proximity of these two cities is the basis on which their joint consolidated plan is built.

Action Plan

The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette each receive an entitlement grant under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program each year. HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds are granted each year to the Lafayette Housing Consortium, which is made up of Lafayette, West Lafayette, and the unincorporated areas of Tippecanoe County. The Action Plan describes plans for expenditure of approximately $1,142,000 in CDBG funds in the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette for housing rehabilitation, supportive services, community facilities, and economic development.

Citizen Participation

In order to develop their joint Consolidated Plan for 1995-2000, the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette used a two-part approach: analysis of existing data on housing and homeless needs, and solicitation of community views about the needs and priorities of each community. While the first part drew heavily on work done the previous year for the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy, the second part expanded citizen participation efforts by contacting over 41 community leaders, neighborhood association representatives, government and nonprofit organizations, and more than 100 local citizens.

A citizen participation packet, priorities issues survey, updated citizen participation plan, and a CDBG program brochure were used to enlist citizen participation. In addition, the city of Lafayette, as the lead agency, made presentations to local communities, neighborhoods, and individuals. Communications were highlighted through newsletters and other printed materials. Two public hearings were held in each entitlement city.


The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette are surrounded by Tippecanoe County which also encompasses the four towns of Dayton, Battleground, Clarks Hill, and Shadeland. Of a total county population of 130,598 in 1990, 76 percent lived in urban areas, 92 percent were white, and 85 percent were high school graduates. The population in Tippecanoe County increased by 7.3 percent during the period of 1980-1990.

Historically, Tippecanoe County has had stable employment growth. In 1994 its unemployment rate was 3.5 percent compared to 6.5 percent for the State.

Purdue University, a Big Ten school with an enrollment of more than 35,000 on the West Lafayette campus, and the area's largest employer with more than 8,000 employees, contributes more than $556 million annually to the local economy. The students--if all were counted in the census--make up 25 percent of the total population of the county. Covering 647 acres for the campus, the university also controls another 17,000 acres in Tippecanoe County, primarily for agricultural education. Purdue Research Foundation, one of the largest area land owners, provides financial support to the university as well as managing Purdue Research Park and doing upper-income residential development in West Lafayette.

In addition, half of the area's top 25 employers are major manufacturers, including Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Eli Lilly, and Alcoa, which contribute to a solid economic base for the community.

However, there are differences in income levels between residents in Lafayette and West Lafayette. In 1989, the median family income in Lafayette was $34,084, while in West Lafayette, it was $52,443. Median household income showed less disparity, it was $27,023 in Lafayette and $21,786 in West Lafayette. This anomaly reflects the high student population. Lafayette wage earners are more evenly distributed over all income ranges than they are in West Lafayette where there are high numbers in executive, administrative, managerial, and profession positions. Per capita incomes increased about 80 percent between 1980 and 1990.

At the same time that income levels were increasing, poverty levels were also increasing. In West Lafayette, the percentage of persons in poverty increased from 21 to 34 percent (to 7,387). However, only 260 families (7 percent of families) were in poverty in 1989. During the same period, the number of students increased by 2,338, or 20 percent. Planners estimate that 79 percent of the unrelated persons in poverty in West Lafayette are students. In Lafayette, the percentage of persons in poverty decreased very slightly, from 9.0 percent in 1979 to 8.9 percent in 1989. The actual number was only 6 fewer persons in poverty. The county as a whole found poverty increasing from 11 to 14 percent.

Although Tippecanoe County has a small minority population overall, slightly over 6 percent of the population, a large percentage of minority households are low income, especially in West Lafayette. Students make up almost half of the minority population of the county.

Tippecanoe County as a whole experienced a 12 percent increase in number of households between 1980 and 1990, Lafayette increased 6 percent and West Lafayette increased 26 percent. Average household size declined from 2.6 persons to 2.5 persons between 1980 and 1990.



In Tippecanoe County 8,785 or 18 percent of all housing units were built before 1940 and only 20 percent were built after 1980. Almost 2,000 housing units built during the 1980s were primarily off-campus student housing for Purdue University. Based on information from various surveys and inspections, it is estimated that 85 percent of the housing in Tippecanoe County is in need of significant rehabilitation to meet local housing codes.

Housing Market Conditions

The stock of housing units in Tippecanoe County increased by almost 12 percent from 43,130 units in 1980 to 48,134 in 1990, closely mirroring the growth in households. Median rent in Tippecanoe County increased 77 percent in the past 10 years from $189 in 1980 to $335 in 1990. Median rent was slightly lower in Lafayette ($317), but higher in West Lafayette ($417). The median home price for the greater Lafayette area was $65,000 in 1990 compared to $67,900 in the State.

Much of the increase in housing stock has been in rental units located primarily in large new apartment complexes and smaller older houses with 1-4 units. This is related to demand for rental units by single-parent families and students, and a homeownership affordability problem dating back to the 1980s. The percentage of renter-occupied units increased from 35 percent in 1980 to 41 percent in 1990.

There is limited growth potential for new housing units within present Lafayette and West Lafayette city limits. Growth of habitable housing has occurred with the rehabilitation of vacant houses in the near downtown Lafayette area, and recently private developers have built multifamily housing on sites where single-family or duplex units in poor condition were demolished. The new complexes are primarily 10-30 unit, 2-3 story apartment buildings, some of which are student oriented. Most of the larger complexes in Lafayette which serve family households are at the southern and eastern edges of the city and just beyond the city limits where utility services are being extended. Even with new construction, the vacancy rate in rental units decreased slightly in the county from 7 percent to 6.5 percent in the last 10 years. In Lafayette the rental vacancy rate decreased from 10 to 8.7 percent, while West Lafayette increased from 2.5 to 2.8 percent. The vacancy rate of 1 percent in owner-occupied housing for the county has not changed during the same period.

Older neighborhoods in Lafayette and West Lafayette house the majority of low- and moderate-income households. Of the relatively small minority population of the county, a large percent of minority households, including students, are low-income, 46 percent of the black, 42 percent of the Hispanic, 24 percent of the Native American, and 42 percent of the Asian/Pacific Islander populations are very low-income.

Affordable Housing Needs

According to a 1990 census, there were 1,556 extremely low-income renter households (income under 30 percent of median), with the majority being small families. In owner-occupied units, there were 914 extremely low-income households and more than half (535) were elderly. In the low-income category (31 to 50 percent of median), there were 1,043 low-income renter households and 703 owner-occupied households.

For all households, renter and owner, 27 percent reported one or more housing problems, and 11 percent reported paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing costs. This cost burden problem was more pronounced for renters than owners. Distributed equally among the two cities, the number of low-income households with a housing cost burden of more than 30 percent was 11,360.

One-fourth of low-income households are elderly, 60 percent of them are homeowners. Forty-two percent of elderly homeowners and 58 percent of elderly renters are cost burdened. Two-thirds of nonelderly renter families are housing cost burdened.

Homeless Needs

Approximately 1,299 homeless persons were reported served in Tippecanoe County; 538 individual adults and 761 persons in 307 families. Of these, 46 were unsheltered, 336 were served by day reception centers, 937 were in emergency shelters, and 316 were in transitional housing. About 30 percent had special needs related to domestic violence, 11 percent related to alcohol or other drug abuse, and 4 percent related to severe mental illness. Another 2 percent had both mental illness and chemical abuse problems.

There are 80 emergency shelter beds at the Salvation Army, Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM), and YWCA-Women in Crisis.

The county has established the Homelessness Prevention Task Force which is a coalition of social services, government agencies, and other homeless service providers throughout the area. In order to provide a continuum of care, the Task Force serves as a networking forum to identify particular issues and provide education to the homeless population.

Supportive services are provided by the shelters which target special issues and needs such as domestic violence, legal advocacy, tenant education, crisis intervention, information and referral. In answer to 58 requests made in 1992 for housing during crisis pregnancy, LifeCare Services has opened a maternity home to serve 10 women at any given time. In addition, Community Health Clinic provided a homeless outreach nurse who regularly visits the shelters and the Community & Family Resource Center has a homelessness prevention case management program which coordinates emergency services.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Tenant-based rental subsidies through Section 8 vouchers and certificates are available for a total of 831 households in Tippecanoe County. The Lafayette Housing Authority administers the 807 Section 8 existing certificates and vouchers for Lafayette and 51 for West Lafayette. The Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Services administers the program for 24 households for the balance of the county under a contract with the State.

Subsidized apartment complexes are found in Lafayette (708 units), West Lafayette (346 units), and the county (492 units). These were built under several different Federal programs. All complexes report long waiting lists for subsidized units.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The Unified Zoning Ordinance (UZO) has been in use since the mid-1960s and reflects the trends of development regulation at the time. UZO is a minimum standard ordinance that lacks flexibility in its administration. Issues such as permitting development on smaller infill city lots without seeking a variance and changes in land use or rezoning will be considered in the pending revision of the UZO.

The building codes in Tippecanoe County are adopted from State standards which are updated every 3 years. If new codes are adopted, these changes will affect the cost of construction.

Three jurisdictions in Tippecanoe County regulate storm water drainage and retention. An areawide approach for storm water management might be more time- and cost-effective, and could allow more consistent monitoring and implementation of these ordinances.

Each city has its own landscape ordinance. The cost of compliance depends on the size of development.

There are no impact fees in Tippecanoe County. The city of West Lafayette has set fees to extend water and sewer to new residential areas, but Lafayette uses a formula to determine such fees.

Lead-Based Paint

In all of Tippecanoe County, it is estimated that 20,400 housing units have a potential lead-based paint hazard. In 1994, 107 children were tested for lead poisoning and 12 required followup due to elevated lead blood levels. The health department collaborates with Section 8 and code enforcement inspectors to provide outreach and education concerning lead-based paint hazards. Persons receiving Medicaid under the managed care program are required to have children age 6 and under screened for elevated lead levels.

The cities' Section 8 and code enforcement officer's refer to and consult with the health Department when housing is found to have serious lead-based paint hazards.

Other Issues

Subpopulations that have special needs include the elderly, especially the frail elderly; the severely mentally ill; persons with disabilities; persons with AIDS and related diseases; and persons with substance abuse problems. All may be at risk of homelessness because of limited income and because of special service needs.

Forty percent of the Section 8 certificates and vouchers are held by elderly and/or disabled households. In addition, there are three subsidized apartment complexes serving the elderly (Fowler Apartment, 103 units; Fairington, 150 units, and Friendship House, 150 units) and a continuing care retirement community, Westminster Village, which offers 236 units.

The needs of residents with substance abuse problems are addressed by organizations, such as Home with Hope, New Directions Treatment Center. Persons with developmental disabilities are served by Wabash Center, Community ventures & Living, Ltd., REM Indiana, and Wabash Valley Hospital.

Project AIDS in Lafayette, which serves a multicounty area, has a caseload of 66 individuals in Tippecanoe County. There are no affordable housing units specifically available for persons with AIDS.

Community Development Needs

Community needs in both cities include public parks and recreational facilities; reconstruction of aging infrastructure including sidewalks, curbs, and ramps; tree planting; historic preservation; and economic development.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The Consolidated Plan seeks to provide the most effective strategy to serve the greatest number of residents. Implementation is guided by the following principles:

Housing Priorities

High housing priorities planned by the Lafayette Housing Consortium for the county and two cities are:

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

Nonhousing goals of the city of Lafayette Community Development Plan are to preserve and revitalize the infrastructure, stabilize existing neighborhoods, and provide an environment for improved employment and economic vitality. High priority is given to:

Medium priority is assigned to:

Antipoverty Strategy

The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette work closely with numerous agencies and provide CDBG public service funds to nonprofit agencies that serve the very-low income, especially those agencies that provide case management leading to self-sufficiency. Additional key components of the antipoverty strategy include:

Housing and Community Development Resources

The Consolidated Plan calls for the use of a variety of Federal, State, and local government resources in addition to resources from religious, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. Low-income Housing Tax Credits have been given to 203 units, 31 of which are Rental Rehab Projects.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The Lafayette Community Development Department is the lead agency for developing and carrying out the Consolidated Plan. It has the largest staff and the most experience in administering housing programs. Because the Consolidated Plan includes an assessment of housing needs for the county as a whole, Lafayette worked extensively with West Lafayette and its Department of Community Development to identify the needs within each community. They collaborate with the Indiana Housing Finance Authority, Lafayette Neighborhood Housing Services, and the Lafayette Housing Authority.


Description of Key Projects

Separate 1-year action plans have been developed for Lafayette and West Lafayette. The plan for Lafayette calls for use of $970,000 in CDBG funds, plus Section 108 and a remaining Urban Development Action Grant program income. Activities to be undertaken include:

The 1995 1-year action plan for West Lafayette calls for the use of $542,000 of CDBG funds for activities including:

The 1995 one-year action plan for the Lafayette HOME Consortium calls for the use of $600,000 for activities including:


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 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 Lafayette and West Lafayette's Consolidated Plan, please contact Roberta Swann at 317-476-4510.
Return to Indiana's Consolidated Plans.