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Question from Indianapolis Mayoral Debate on WISH-TV: Addressing housing prices

Hogsett and Shreve: Outside investors driving up home prices (reclip)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Democrat mayor of Indianapolis and a Republican hopeful for the job answered questions, many provided by WISH-TV viewers, during a live, hourlong debate aired Monday night.

Hogsett is seeking a third four-year term as mayor of Indianapolis. Shreve, a businessman who has previously served on the City-County Council, won the Republican primary in May.

Monday night’s presentation was the first one-hour televised debate in an Indianapolis mayoral campaign in nearly 20 years.

A study by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana found entire blocks of neighborhoods are being bought by outside investors, which is believed to drive up home purchase rent prices. Additionally, Indiana has some of the worst eviction rates in the nation. What can or should be done to limit outside investor buying power? What will be done to address housing equity in the city?

Shreve says this type of buying is a growing problem. He says healthy neighborhoods have high percentages of personal homeownership, so outside investors buying up swaths of housing should be discouraged and local homeownership should be encouraged. Indianapolis has to continue adding to the housing supply to meet high demands. He says that current programs in effect to protect renters from eviction are “toothless initiatives,” and home equity is and should be a primary safety net.

Hogsett says he agrees with Shreve on the housing supply problem. He says that the city has a good track record of holding out-of-state landlords who have pocketed money accountable. He also says he is proud of the one-time housing credit to keep homeowners in their homes and anti-displacement projects in effect. He says in years past, pro-rental relief had passed the city-county council but was overturned, and expressed pride in COVID-era renter relief.