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

Consolidated Plan Contact


Terre Haute, is located 7 miles east of the Indiana/Illinois border, on the eastern banks of the Wabash River. The city lies 70 miles southwest of Indianapolis and is the seat of Vigo County. The major industries include higher education, manufacturing, plastics, compact discs, aerospace, and high-tech machinery products. It is home to Indiana State University, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, St. Mary of the Woods, and Ivy Tech.

Action Plan

For Fiscal Year 1995, Terre Haute expects to receive $2.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, $93,000 in Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds, $500,000 in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds, and $77,000 in program income. Of the program activities sponsored through these funds, 95 percent will be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Citizen Participation

The city of Terre Haute complied with all of the provisions required for citizen participation and created a plan that relied on the involvement of extremely low-, very low-, and low- income residents. Notices of public hearings, announcements on the availability of documents, and outlines of public comment periods were published in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. A hearing was held in December 1994 to solicit information on housing and community development needs and to solicit questions about strategies to meet those needs. The city accepted comments on the draft of the Consolidated Plan for nearly 4 weeks. A second public hearing was held during the public comment period. Documents relevant to the programs were available at the city Department of Redevelopment, and technical assistance was available for extremely low-, very low-, and low-income residents who requested assistance in developing proposals under the submission process.


According to the 1990 census, Terre Haute's population was 57,483, reflecting a 6-percent decline from the 1980 census. However, the loss was actually greater than this figure suggests because during this time Terre Haute annexed the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (with a student population of 570) and a Federal prison (with an inmate population of 2,015). Population projections show that Terre Haute's population has increased since the 1990 census and that the city's current population is estimated between 62,000 and 63,000.

Although the city's minority population, which represents 12.2 percent of the overall population, increased by 2.2 percent during the 1980s, the U.S. Federal Penitentiary population accounts for approximately three-quarters of that increase. Furthermore, Terre Haute's elderly population, which represents 17.6 percent of the population, is growing.



The Terre Haute economy is becoming service oriented. This new economy translates into lower average wages and decreased buying power for many Terre Haute families. A growing number of households are headed by single parents, creating an increase in the number of one-income households. These factors help prevent low- and moderate-income households from purchasing homes, despite low mortgage rates and affordable houses.

Housing Needs

The Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment demolishes nearly 30 vacant and dilapidated housing units per year. Data from the 1990 census show that 53 percent of the housing stock is at least 40 years old. Furthermore, many vacant rental units are in substandard condition. One factor causing a large number of vacancies of renter-occupied units has been the substandard conditions of these units. The aging housing stock and increasing costs of repairing and maintaining these homes have resulted in many of them falling into disrepair. Many people living in older homes are lower income residents and elderly residents on fixed incomes. Nearly 80 percent of the housing units in substandard condition are suitable for rehabilitation.

Market Conditions

The 1990 census counted 25,488 housing units in Terre Haute. Of this figure, 62 percent were owner occupied. The median contract rent was $224 per month, while the median home value was $32,000. This median home value was considerably less than the State value of $57,000.

During the 1980s between 900 and 1,000 homes were for sale annually in Terre Haute. The housing market has improved during the past few years partly because of lower interest rates and an improved economy. The vacancy rate for houses has dropped from 1,000 units in 1990 to approximately 400 units in 1995. The lower vacancy rate has caused an increase in the 1990 median home price of $32,000. The vacancy rate for owner-occupied housing is 2.2 percent, while the vacancy rate for renter-occupied housing is 10.3 percent.

The majority of new homes built during the past decade have been constructed in the outlying areas of the county. However, building activity within Terre Haute has increased recently. The Terre Haute Building Inspection Department issued 108 permits for single- family homes in 1994, compared with an annual average of 20 permits during previous years. Also, more than 300 rental units were constructed within the city in 1994.

The majority of homes in Terre Haute were built for small families, with 64 percent of the homes having two bedrooms or less.

Affordable Housing Needs

In Terre Haute 59 percent of the 7,313 very low-income households (those earning 31 to 50 percent of median family income [MFI]) have some sort of housing problem, such as living in substandard housing, living in overcrowded conditions, or paying more than 30 percent of gross household income for housing costs. Of the 4,179 low-income households (those earning 51 to 80 percent of MFI), 18 percent have some sort of housing problem.

The poorest households spend the largest percentage of their income on rent. Of the 4,444 very low-income renter households, 36 percent spend more than half of their income on housing costs. An even larger percentage of small families, especially single-parent families, spend more than 50 percent. Of the 2,869 very low-income owner households, 18 percent spend more than half of their income on housing costs, and 18 percent of low-income households spend more than 30 percent. Moderate-income families (81 to 95 percent of MFI) have fewer housing problems, with only 10 percent paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing costs.

The Terre Haute Public Housing Authority counts 975 individuals on the waiting list for public housing and 1,486 individuals on the waiting list for Section 8 certificates and vouchers.

Homeless Needs

Census data from 1990 identified 73 homeless persons in Terre Haute. Of that figure, 23 percent were children. All of the homeless individuals were placed in emergency shelters. Local shelters reported that 95 percent of their clientele were white males. The shelters also estimated that 95 percent of their clientele were substance abusers or mentally ill. Shelter providers reported that growing numbers of alcohol abusers need shelter each year.

The Council on Domestic Abuse (CODA) reports a need for more housing for abused wives and children. CODA submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last year to build eight units of transitional housing, but the application was rejected because of insufficient funds. Shelter providers also identify a need for emergency housing for teenagers. Some homeless youth are runaways who are escaping from violent households, while others are pregnant teenagers who have been expelled from their homes.

The five facilities in Terre Haute that serve as emergency shelters can accommodate 131 individuals.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Terre Haute Housing Authority has 874 public housing units and 32 assisted single- family homes. Of the public housing units, 406 have one bedroom; 164 have two bedrooms; and 304 have three or more bedrooms. The vacancy rate for these units is 3 percent. The assisted single-family homes have at least three bedrooms, and all of these homes are occupied.

The majority of Terre Haute's public housing units are in good physical condition. All are accessible or are in the process of becoming accessible to persons with disabilities. Because these units are in good physical condition, the city does not expect to lose any units to demolition. The city also expects to convert two or three homes per year to homeownership.

The Terre Haute Housing Authority administers 736 Section 8 certificates and vouchers to very low- and low-income individuals and families for units that are scattered throughout the city. Of these units, 8 are efficiencies; 111 have one bedroom; 432 have two bedrooms; 146 have three bedrooms; 33 have four bedrooms; and 6 have five bedrooms. These figures include 468 elderly public housing units and 156 certificates, vouchers, or rent subsidies for elderly housing. As of December 31, 1993, 16 certificates and vouchers were not being used. The waiting list for housing units has 975 individuals.

The inventory of assisted housing units includes private, project-based housing units that have been built for very low- and low-income residents. Most of these developments have waiting lists.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Terre Haute is one of the most affordable cities in the State and in the country. Few public policies, regulations, or rules negatively affect the affordability of housing or create barriers to affordable housing. The city has not identified any problems that affect affordable housing.

Fair Housing

The city certifies that it will affirmatively advance fair housing within its boundaries. The city also will complete an analysis of the impediments to fair housing choice within the community.

Lead-Based Paint

Nearly 80 percent of Terre Haute's very low- and low-income residents live in housing units that are at least 40 years old and that contain hazardous concentrations of lead-based paint. Despite these figures, the Vigo County Health Department and the State Office of Children's Special Health Care Services report no lead poisoning among the children who have been tested.

The Terre Haute Housing Authority continues to inspect and abate lead-based paint in all of its residential units and common areas. The Department of Redevelopment abates lead- based paint according to HUD guidelines. Homeowners who initiate housing rehabilitation projects receive notices about the hazards and sources of lead-based paint. They also are advised of lead poisoning symptoms, lead screening procedures, and maintenance and treatment of lead-based paint hazards.

Other Issues

A portion of the public housing stock and 20 units of housing owned by United Cerebral Palsy serve persons with physical disabilities. The local Health Department has indicated that housing for persons with HIV/AIDS currently is not needed because the majority of those with HIV/AIDS are cared for by family members.

Community Development Needs

The Department of Redevelopment has established certain target areas that contain a high concentration of low-income families and individuals. These areas will receive a majority of the CDBG funds allocated for program activities.


Housing Priorities

The city has identified the following housing priorities:

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

The city has identified public works projects in targeted low- and moderate-income neighborhoods as a priority. Projects will include street resurfacing as well as the installation of curbs, gutters, a storm drainage system, trees, and new sidewalks.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The city's anti-poverty strategy is reflected in the creation of affordable housing for very low- and low-income individuals. The Terre Haute Housing Authority and the Department of Redevelopment help to supply single-family and multifamily housing for those living in poverty. The housing authority's self-sufficiency program guides and supports families, encouraging them to take control of their lives.

Coordination of the Strategic Plan

The city will meet with public and assisted housing providers as well as private and government health and service agencies to coordinate housing and community development activities for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The city also will continue to leverage its financial resources with private funds by cooperating with local banks on housing finance and development.

Through its participation in the Total Quality of Life program, sponsored by the Indiana Department of Commerce, the city has identified 10 major areas of concern. Terre Haute has developed an economic development strategy that identifies and evaluates the opportunities offered by educational institutions, job training efforts, and community development programs. The city has completed a physical assessment of its streets and houses to develop its priority housing and community development needs. These actions help the Department of Redevelopment coordinate the implementation of its strategy with other agencies.


Description of Key Projects

During Fiscal Year 1995, Terre Haute will allocate funds to the following key projects:

To comment on Terre Haute's Consolidated Plan, please contact :
Phil Kessner or Marc Elliott at 812-232-0018.

Return to Indiana's Consolidated Plans.