Hogsett proposes free houses for teachers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Joe Hogsett wants some teachers to receive a free house.

The Demcratic candidate for mayor is hoping to kill two birds with one stone.

His idea would attract good teachers and get abandoned homes back on the property tax rolls.

A free house sounds like a good idea. But what if that house is in a bad neighborhood and in bad shape?

The houses that could potentially be awarded to an Indianapolis teacher were abandoned.

They are owned now by the city Land Bank.

Hogsett told the downtown Kiwanis Club that a home giveaway is part of his education plan.

“This is an incredibly important incentive beyond added salary that, I think, could help attract quality teachers,” he said.

Just last year people in the Mapleton Fall Creek area were excited to hear Democrats on the City County Council propose free rent to police officers willing to live in rehabilited houses in that neighborhood.

But Mayor Greg Ballard shot down the proposal and, if elected, Hogsett may also find his plan is not as practical as it sounds.

When asked about houses that are not in good shape, Hogsett said, “No, they’re not but you shouldn’t discard the idea just because there are a lot of homes that need to be demolished.”

The plan calls for teachers to renovate the homes, live in them, and teach at a nearby school for four years.

To qualify for a home a teacher would have to graduate in the top 25 percent of his or her college class, or have two years of experience with a proven track record.

The details of that criteria are not yet worked out.