Multicultural News

Grant to help expand reach of Indiana nonprofits improving housing affordability

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana agency is hoping to connect with area nonprofits to improve housing affordability and economic stability.

They’ll be using a series of webinars to help get it done. Prosperity Indiana works with roughly 200 agencies around the state. The group’s focus is on racial equity, housing, savings and much more. But the pandemic exposed some long-standing problems and now the hope is to broaden the outreach of the nonprofits.

Indiana is one of the most affordable places to live, but housing affordability is still a problem. Data from Prosperity Indiana shows that for every 100 extremely low-income families, there are only 37 housing options.

“Indiana is known as affordable, but we really have a huge gap in available and affordable housing. Particularly for extremely low to moderate income individuals,” said Marie Beason with Prosperity Indiana.

The hope is that a new $50,000 grant from First Financial Foundation and First Financial Bank will help provide the tools to improve those odds. And they are starting with area nonprofits.

“They are boots on the ground to really help define programming opportunities,” Beason said.

The grant will fund a program called Changing4Good. It’s a series of webinars that will as a kind of educational resource. Typically this kind of training would come with a fee, but the grant is curbing that cost. They are targeting nonprofits that focus on racial equity, affordable housing, savings and more.

“Houses, old houses torn down. Houses, houses that burned down, people living in these old houses that are just horrible on the inside. It’s bad,” said Skyler Stewart.

The idea has created some skepticism in the community with some wondering if it’ll actually improve things. Stewart said was born on the near-east side. She left and came back and said it’s easy to see how economic struggles have impacted the community. But there is also some optimism.

“I think it can get better. I don’t think it’s hard to see. I just think they need help,” she said.

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