skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Trump running mate Vance to deliver 'the most important speech' of his career at Republican convention tonight; Alabama group receives grant to boost FAFSA submissions; Bilingual, multicultural staff needed for NJ addiction treatment; Toledo plant to manufacture EVs with federal funding.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Republican National Convention connects crime to migration. Kari Lake and delegates from Texas, Florida, and California talk about border issues. Desantis pokes fun at President Biden and Nikki Haley gives the night's big speech.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Hoosiers push for statewide commission to tackle housing crisis

play audio
Play

Monday, June 24, 2024   

By Marilyn Odendahl for The Indiana Citizen.
Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Indiana News Service reporting for the Indiana Citizen-Free Press Indiana-Public News Service Collaboration
.


A letter signed by nearly 500 Hoosier organizations and individuals was presented to Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday as part of a continued effort to persuade him to establish a statewide housing commission to tackle Indiana's "extreme housing crisis."

The 485 signees to the letter, which include housing providers, developers, community service organizations, faith-based groups and individual Hoosiers, are asking the governor to issue an executive order creating a Commission on Housing Safety, Stability and Affordability. They see a commission as improving coordination among government agencies and assorted stakeholders to help address the state's housing shortage and a shortfall in enforcing health and safety standards.

"Our state is in the midst of an extreme housing crisis," Amy Nelson, executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and a signee to the letter, said in an email. "This is not new to housing consumers, whether renters or wannabe homeowners, who have been struggling to keep roofs over their heads or build generational wealth through homeownership. There is a dire lack of affordable housing options in both our home sales and rental markets. We need a Commission that can thoroughly address these issues impacting so many Hoosiers."

The idea for the commission was born from the failure to pass meaningful housing legislation during the 2024 session of the Indiana General Assembly and in previous legislative sessions. Despite 10 bills related to housing needs being introduced into the legislature in January and the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus focusing its agenda on housing concerns, the issue did not gain any traction.

The signees see a commission as overcoming the frustration in the Statehouse in two ways. First, they explained in the letter, a commission could find avenues through administrative and court rules to expand the housing supply without the need for legislation. Second, a commission could speak in a united voice to Indiana lawmakers and recommend new state statutes.

In the letter, the signees highlight Indiana's ongoing housing problems. The state currently has only 34 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely impoverished Hoosier households, the second-lowest rate in the Midwest, and 76% of those households spend more than half their income on housing expenses, the single-highest rate in the Midwest, according to data cited in the letter.

Moreover, housing instability is threatening many Hoosier families. The signees said more than 72,000 Hoosiers households had an eviction notice filed against them in the past year, and an estimated 86,000 households - which includes 98,000 children - remain at risk for eviction.

In March, Prosperity Indiana and the National Low Income Housing Coalition released their report - "The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes" - which detailed the depth of Indiana's housing problem. The Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition, at that time, encouraged housing advocates to sign the letter asking for the commission.

"Contrary to the common claim that Indiana is an affordable place to live, the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition believes that the findings of this report confirmed what our members have witnessed on the ground throughout the state - that Indiana is failing to supply safe, healthy and affordable places for the most vulnerable Hoosiers to live," Andrew Bradley, policy director for Prosperity Indiana, said at the March news conference.

Those who signed the letter to the governor see a housing commission as functioning like the Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children, established in 2013, which has brought numerous stakeholders together to address the problem of abused and neglected youth. Similarly, the signees said, a housing commission could get administrative agencies, courts, local governments, legislators and advocates to work together to find solutions, rather than working in silos.

"Safe and stable housing is fundamental to the physical and mental health of all Hoosiers," the letter states, "to the education and development of children, to the employability of adults, and to a thriving state economy."


Marilyn Odendahl wrote this article for The Indiana Citizen.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Workers can file safety or heat-related complaints at the Cal/OSHA office nearest their work site or by calling 866-924-9757. (Sculpies/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

California has shattered heat records left and right this month and temperatures are forecast to be 10 degrees above normal this weekend, so the …


Environment

play sound

Ohio will receive more than $32 million in federal funding to help revive auto manufacturing and jobs in the state, specifically electric vehicle …

Environment

play sound

A court is soon expected to decide a Wyoming case between hunters and landowners which could affect public land access. When a group from Missouri …


Experts say addiction treatment outcomes are much better when a health care provider speaks the language and understands the culture of the patient. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

More than 85,000 people are admitted each year in New Jersey to treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction, and experts say language can be a …

Environment

play sound

Massachusetts will receive close to $1 billion in federal funding to replace the Cape Cod bridges. Lawmakers said it is the largest single bridge …

Researchers said children who live in poverty lose an additional two months of reading skills over the summer, with a lack of proper nutrition serving as a key factor. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Some North Dakota leaders believe healthy food is part of what is needed to help all kids achieve better outcomes and they hope low-income families si…

Health and Wellness

play sound

In the past year, the Colorado AgrAbility Project added four behavioral health specialists to help the state's agricultural producers, workers and …

Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Este Poder has a goal of helping more young people of color in rural east Texas exercise their right to vote. The organization holds …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021