As Indianapolis continues to transform, people who invest in land bank properties make a notable contribution. Rehabilitating an abandoned house or building a new family home on a vacant lot means new neighbors, new friends, and a vibrant community.
But what happens when properties are beyond repair and too costly for a buyer to take on?
Rather than allow those properties to serve as hotbeds for crime, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD), and the City of Indianapolis worked with Renew Indianapolis to demolish these unsafe structures and make way for new development or green space. Mayor Hogsett and his administration led the charge and stepped up to make the program a priority.
Since 2016, Renew Indianapolis has overseen the Blight Elimination Program (BEP) for the City of Indianapolis, utilizing all of the allocated $6.3 million in government funds. Renew identified, assessed, and removed structures beyond repair that were unsafe and a burden to the community. BEP demolition reduced neighborhood blights by 410 structures. In their place, vacant lots provide safety and greenspaces for communities by eliminating crime and improving the quality of life.
Many of the demolitions also helped former BEP partners acquire the newly vacant lots with clear titles. These organizations included:
- Near North Development Corporation
- Southeast Neighborhood Development
- Near Eastside Area Renewal
- Westside Community Development Corporation
- John Boner Neighborhood Centers
- Indy Habitat for Humanity
- Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership
The Department of Business and Neighborhood Services (BNS) played an important role in the program’s funding and efficacy through demolition permitting and connecting Renew with blighted property owners. Renew took on many surplus BNS demolition projects, saving the City millions of taxpayer dollars.
And the next step? You.
When you purchase and build on one of these lots, you help change communities block-by-block. In research by the Sagamore Institute, Indiana neighbors affected by blight elimination have highlighted the increased quality of life in their communities:
The majority of survey respondents acknowledge the removal of blighted/vacant structures has improved their neighborhood overall. Residents report that their neighborhood is safer, more walkable, more attractive, and much more stable.
Blight elimination is the first step to transforming communities. With your help and vision, Renew can all make Indianapolis a safer and better place for everyone through the redevelopment of these properties.