Answered: Where locals want affordable housing, according to our readers

You told us which empty buildings could be converted into affordable housing.

INDY_Indianapolis pink sky_skyline_NOV2023

Office vacancies were at ~22% in Indianapolis as of June 2023.

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Recently, we asked you which vacant office spaces around town you’d recommend be converted to affordable housing. You know, the empty buildings you pass every day on your morning commute and think “that would make a great blank.”

As usual, you did not disappoint. Here are the spots you thought could make hot homes.

The hot spots

“Not considered a office space, but the building is across the street from Salvation Army. The former jail building should be considered for a homeless shelter along with the plan of the homeless hub. Unfortunately, the other jail building is now a storage business. Should have been considered to be made into a homeless shelter.” — Anonymous

“Salesforce building!” — Rich W.

“The Indianapolis City County Building.” — Anonymous

“Many on the east side beginning at Shadeland and going east.” — Sue E.

“College & 30th, south west corner.” — Anonymous

“All of them! We need more affordable housing for marginalized groups in our community.” — @megs_walker_

“Illinois Building on Illinois/Market.” — @stillwephens

“OneAmerica building has at least four floors with GREAT views available.” — @goddessd421

The big picture

In case you missed it, the White House recently released a new plan to convert vacant commercial buildings into residential housing through resources like:

  • Grants: Funding from the government can help cover the costs of land acquisition and construction. For example, the Community Development Block Grant Program provides annual grants to fund housing projects.
  • Land dispositions: Transferring property to local governments, non-profits, and for-profit developers can reduce the cost of affordable housing.
  • Taxes: When transforming office space into housing, systems like plumbing, heating, and cooling typically need replacing. This can be an opportunity to make improvements to energy efficiency — which can be rewarded with tax incentives and credits.

There are more resources than we could possibly list — 20+ programs across multiple agencies. Good thing all the current federal resources are consolidated into this guidebook.

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