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Circle Up Indy hopes to target housing shortage with 3D printed homes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new type of home-building technology could be headed to Indianapolis.

For three years, Circle Up Indy has been working on a plan to address housing and job disparities, and they hope the answer is 3D-printed homes.

Representatives say with limited housing and rental prices going up, many people are in a constant fight just to keep standing. Right now, they’ve raised a few thousand but needs community support to meet the 3D printer’s $2.6 million sticker price.

The housing crisis has left its mark around Indianapolis, through high-priced rental units, growing housing costs, empty lots, and long-standing barriers.

“Not only is it harder to become a homeowner it’s hard to even find places to rent,” said Caroline Watts.

Watts has worked in social services positions her whole career, and joined the others to see what’s next for Circle Up Indy’s Rising Evolution initiative to bring 3D-printed homes to the city.

“The difference in the pricing would be the people that have lower income would be able to afford the mortgage payments,” Watts said.

In partnership with multiple grassroots and city agencies, they’ve kick-started a fundraiser, hoping to raise $2.6 million to buy two 3D home printers, buy land, support training, and ultimately jobs.

Circle Up Indy’s Chief Executive Officer, James Wilson, said, “When people don’t have a place to go, and they are constantly fighting to pay bills. They are constantly backwards hustling. The urgency is now. We have to invest in our community in dollars right now.”

Circle Up Indy focuses on promoting peace, positive change, and now economic development.
So, once the goal is reached, families will be able to rent to own these 3D-printed homes.

“We wanted to make sure we had a level of support. Behind it. Because if we give you a home and you can’t maintain it. And that becomes an issue. But having our case managers, which is like our leasing agent to work with you,” said Wilson.

Watts says she’s eager to see how the community responds, understanding the sense of peace that could come with housing security. “People will be able to have the comfort to know they have somewhere to come home,” Watts said.