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

Consolidated Plan Contact


The State of Indiana is bordered by Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky. The economic, housing, and community development needs of the State vary greatly by geography and between urban and rural areas. Indiana's Consolidated Plan will be flexible in meeting these diverse needs.

Action Plan

In Fiscal Year 1995, the Indiana Department of Commerce (IDOC) will receive about $38 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to use in the State's non- entitlement areas. The Family and Social Services Administration will receive $1.847 million in Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds. Indiana will also receive $11.7 million in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds and $1 million from the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program.

Citizen Participation

The State sponsored a set of public forums to gather feedback on the draft Consolidated Plan in accordance with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations. During the weeks of February 6 and February 13, 1995, the State convened six regional forums across Indiana. The meetings, which were held in Rensselear, Warsaw, Muncie, Jeffersonville, Princeton, and Indianapolis, were attended by more than 200 people. On February 21, the State held a half-day workshop on homeless issues and a half-day workshop on minority business enterprise development. More than 30 service providers, low-income people, homeless, and formerly homeless citizens attended and eight representatives of minority concerns. Other forums were held during the weeks of April 10 and April 17 in conjunction with a public comment period that began on April 3, 1995.


Indiana's population remained stable throughout much of the last decade. Its population in 1990 of 5,544,159 represented an increase of almost 1 percent since 1980. However, Indiana residents are somewhat different than in 1980. The population is older, more racially and ethnically diverse, and less likely to be living in traditional married couple households. The median age of State residents in 1990 was about 32, up from 29 in 1980. About 12 percent of the State's population is older than 65 years old, the same as the national average.

African Americans comprise the largest minority group in the State at 7.8 percent. About 1.7 percent of the residents are Hispanic. The State's median household income approached $28,797 in 1989. Family households reported higher overall median income compared to non-family households. There are 358,050 extremely low-income households (0-30 percent of median family income (MFI)), 330,235 very low-income households (31-50 percent MFI), and 513,753 low-income households (51-80 percent MFI).



An analysis of employment in Indiana indicates that the State is likely to produce below average job growth in relation to the rest of the Nation over the next 5 years. Additionally, the personal income of Indiana residents, already below the national average, is expected to fall further behind. This will occur as the proportion of low-paying jobs increases, particularly in the service and retail industries.

Housing Needs

Among households with median incomes below 80 percent of MFI, there are 371,309 renters and 830,729 homeowners. Of the renters in this group, 74 percent of extremely low-income households, 66 percent of very low-income households, and 55 percent of low- income households have housing problems, which are defined by HUD as overcrowded conditions, physical deficiency of the unit, or payment of 30 percent or more of income for housing expenses. Among homeowners, 73 percent of extremely low-income households, 51 percent of very low-income households, and 23 percent of low-income households have housing problems. Minority homeowners appear to face higher housing costs relative to income compared to non-minority homeowners.

Housing Market Conditions

The median owner-occupied home in Indiana was valued at $53,500 in 1990. Nearly 17 percent of the housing stock was valued at $30,000. Homes worth $100,000 or more made up 12 percent of the owner-occupied stock. Homes in northern Indiana tend to have higher values, while homes in the southwest are the least expensive.

Since 1990 home values have escalated throughout the State. The median sale price of a singe-family home in the second quarter of 1990 approached $60,000. By the second quarter of 1994, the median-priced homes cost $75,000. Nominal values have appreciated by roughly 3 percent annually since 1990. The median rent in Indiana was $375 in 1990. Most units rented within the range of $250 to $500 per month in 1990.

While the overall State vacancy rate in 1990 was 8 percent, vacancy rates were somewhat higher in rural areas. The vacancy rate is higher in northern Indiana at 11 percent and lowest in the central part of the State at above 6 percent. The highest vacancy rates were reported in Owen, Sullivan, and Parke counties, which had vacancy rates greater than 10 percent.

Affordable Housing Needs

Indiana housing is relatively inexpensive. In the past, low interest rates have made it easier for some families to purchase homes. Despite favorable trends in housing costs, housing is not affordable for some households. An estimated 18 percent of homeowners with mortgages are paying 30 percent or more of their gross income for housing. About 37 percent of renter households pay 30 percent or more of their income for housing.

Many renters remain in the rental market because they cannot afford to purchase a home. About 25 percent of renter households have insufficient incomes to afford the median rent payment without overtaxing their meager resources. Of the 67,000 projected new households in Indiana in the next 7 years, 87 percent will desire homeownership. Only 37,600 of these households, however, will be able to afford a home in the private market at current rates. Despite their ability to meet the cost of a monthly mortgage, many will not be able to assemble enough money for a downpayment and closing costs.

Homeless Needs

The recent Shelter and Street Night Count by the census found 2,251 homeless people in emergency shelters and 268 visible in street locations in Indiana. A survey conducted in parts of Indianapolis in 1993 by Indianapolis and the Indiana Department of Education found 1,589 homeless people in only a small part of the city, of whom only 707 were in shelters at the time of the counting. Another estimate conducted by the Indiana Department of Human Services determined that Indiana has 30,812 people who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness.

Conversations with various shelter directors suggest that homelessness is widespread throughout the State. However, many rural homeless people migrate to the inner cities because most of the supportive services are found there. Interviews with State and local agencies in 1993 revealed that there are approximately 75 shelters and nearly 600 soup kitchens and food pantries in the State. Additionally, HUD funded 259 transitional and 28 permanent housing units in 1994 for the homeless in Indiana.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Indiana is a home rule State, meaning that local jurisdictions may enact ordinances that are not expressly prohibited by the State. Therefore, local jurisdictions have enacted most of the laws affecting housing and zoning.

Most observers of Indiana's housing industry, such as developers, financiers, and consultants who work in other States, agree that Indiana has relatively few institutional barriers to real estate development. Permits and approvals are relatively forthcoming. Fees are moderate in comparison with other States. In general, the policy-related barriers are considered minimal.

Fair Housing

The State has formed a committee to conduct an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice, develop an ongoing action plan to address the impediments, and establish a system to monitor, assess, and evaluate progress in addressing fair housing in Indiana. Both the homeownership and rental markets will be studied.

When the State recently conducted its Community 2000 statewide telephone survey, it asked a series of questions regarding housing discrimination. More than 3,200 respondents in 7 cities were asked if they had ever been discriminated against when looking for housing. Almost 1 in 20 households surveyed reported that they had been discriminated against or were unsure if they had experienced discrimination.

Lead-Based Paint

Approximately 1,325,285 housing units in Indiana are estimated to contain lead-based paint. Almost three-quarters of these units are owner-occupied.

Lake and Marion counties are considered high-risk areas for lead-based paint hazards. Indiana has screened children age 6 or younger for lead for a number of years, but only 11 percent of children have been tested. The primary treatment for children who are lead poisoned is to remove them from the exposure to lead sources. This involves moving the children's families into temporary or permanent lead-safe housing.

However, many Indiana communities have yet to plan and develop adequate facilities for families who need protection from lead hazards. The more than 900 children who have been confirmed as lead-poisoned by the Indiana Department of Health demonstrates the scope of families needing immediate housing and support services.

Indiana does not have any statewide lead abatement laws. The State can give suggestions or advice to people interested in removing lead-based paint from their homes, but cannot require homeowners to remove lead-based paint from their homes. Indiana does not require any accreditation or certification for contractors to remove lead-based paint, which makes the State ineligible to receive money from HUD's lead-based paint removal program.
However, the state is currently developing a mechanism to address these deficiencies.

Other Issues

People with serious and persistent mental illness have special needs, particularly for more affordable, decent, and safe permanent housing. Most individuals could move out of group home settings and maintain themselves in an independent unit with adequate case management support. Many individuals with a serious mental illness would prefer and benefit from a crisis center that offers temporary shelter in times of psychiatric crisis. Providers indicate that this type of respite center would also benefit the families of individuals with a serious mental illness. Transitional housing is currently desired because of the lack of permanent, available, and independent housing options, especially for those leaving an institutional setting. Lodges or group home settings are preferred living situations for a small segment of this population.

Another segment of the population of concern to the State are those with physical disabilities. One of the principal needs identified among service providers is the need for more handicapped accessible housing. Because many physically disabled have limited incomes, housing must be affordable. The availability of transportation services is also essential to this population. Programs that provide financial assistance to adapt living environments are needed.

Seasonal agricultural workers are also in need of housing. Almost 63 percent of seasonal agricultural workers live in labor camps. The State has 65 such camps. According to service providers, 65 camps are not enough for this population, and many current units are in substandard condition. Farmers have largely discontinued housing for migrant workers because State groups have enforced minimum living standards. Also, there is more housing demand because the number of migrant job seekers increases each year. About 1 percent of migrant workers live in homeless shelters, outdoors, or in overcrowded conditions with relatives.

The number of people with HIV/AIDS who are in need of housing is growing. As of January 1, 1995, the State had 3,311 reported AIDS cases. The State's goal is to find the most cost-effective means to house people with AIDS and prevent expensive hospitalization or other institutional care.

Community Development Needs

Among the community development needs expressed by citizens through Consolidated Plan forums and the Community 2000 survey were health services, infrastructure, job creation, child care, crime reduction, downtown revitalization, solid waste disposal, and transportation.


Vision for Change

The State's housing and community development mission is to:

Housing Priorities

Participants in regional forums throughout the State raised affordable housing as the number one housing issue. Repair and rehabilitation of housing present opportunities to create new affordable units by reusing existing structures. It also addresses the needs of the elderly and disabled by adapting homes to accommodate disabilities. To accomplish some of these goals the State proposes the following:

Indiana residents should have every opportunity to purchase their own homes. Creation of more affordable units is needed for low- and moderate-income families to make the move from the rental market to homeownership. Many households can afford monthly mortgage payments, but they may not have the resources to make a downpayment. Others are able to participate in subsidized mortgage programs for first-time buyers. Methods to accomplish this strategic priority include:

While every effort will be made to stimulate homeownership, it is not an option for everyone. Many households will be unable to afford homes even with downpayment assistance and low interest rates. They will always need some form of subsidy to afford a rental unit. The following action items are anticipated to address the need for affordable rental housing during the next 3 to 5 years:

Several opportunities exist to reach out and strengthen the support system for homeless families and individuals to ensure minimum shelter and assist in making the transition out of homelessness. Persons at risk of homelessness should also be assisted. The following action items are anticipated to help the homeless during the next 5 years:

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

The affordability and availability of health care is a prime concern of many Indiana citizens. In fact, it often takes precedence in their opinion over housing and other community development issues. The following nonhousing action items will be emphasized:

Antipoverty Strategy

The poverty level in Indiana for 1989 was reported as $12,674 for a non-farm family of four. In 1989, more than 10 percent of Indiana households had incomes below the poverty level. That is a slight increase from 10 years earlier. The highest rates of poverty are in southwestern Indiana, especially among elderly households.

Despite these rising numbers, the State has not adopted a formal antipoverty strategy. The Consolidated Plan Coordinating Committee will attempt to adopt one in the FY 1996 annual performance report. Meanwhile, current antipoverty efforts for Indiana are founded on the following four basic principles:

Housing and Community Development Resources

The majority of funding available for housing and community development programs in the State comes from Federal sources. Major programs include CDBG, HOME, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the Section 8 rental assistance programs, and weatherization assistance. Many of these programs are administered through State agencies. A number of other Federal resources are available only for demonstration projects or through a competitive process on a national or regional level.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

It is important to coordinate investments in community development and affordable housing and follow economic development successes with investments in a range of housing types and income levels. The State will form a Consolidated Plan Coordinating Committee. The committee will oversee the Consolidated Plan implementation, prepare the annual progress review, develop the 1-year action plan, and work to increase citizen participation in the planning process. Working groups will be established to increase inter- and intra-agency coordination in implementing Consolidated Plan projects.


Description of Key Projects

Lead Agencies

The Indiana Department of Commerce is the lead agency responsible for overseeing the development of the plan. Partner State agencies in this process include the Indiana Housing Finance Authority, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and the Indiana State Department of Health.

To comment on the State of Indiana's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Betty Smith-Beecher
Deputy Director, Grants Management
Community Development Division
Indiana Department of Commerce

Return to Indiana's Consolidated Plans.