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Housing report: Outside investors detrimentally impact Indianapolis neighborhoods

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s getting even tougher to become a homeowner in Marion County, according to a new report by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana.

Part of the problem: Investors are buying up properties in lower- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

Haughville and other neighborhoods are increasingly seeing more rental properties. In Haughville, all the properties between on Pershing and Sheffield near 14th are rentals, with 80% owned by institutional investors.

Housing advocates say these types of buys have detrimental impacts on people of color.

Change can sometimes come with a cost. The new report outside investors cashing in, and minority families missing out.

Amy Nelson is the executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. Nelson says the report is the fourth released this year to outline housing conditions in Indianapolis and the rest of Marion County. “We have seen a drop in homeownership across Marion County. Throughout the last decade in fact, homeownership has dropped by 7%. In our Black neighborhoods. It’s doubled. It’s dropped by 14%.”

The latest report centers around the impact that investors have on communities by looking at foreclosure and tax sale data.

“What our report found is the neighborhoods certainly surrounding downtown are being influenced have gentrified,” Nelson said. “We’ve had a lot of white higher-income buyers moving into those neighborhoods, and, unfortunately, that means individuals, people of color, who have long been in those neighborhoods are being pushed out.”

About 15% of homes in Indianapolis are investor-owned. That’s in comparison to the the national rate of 3%. Nelson says that’s causing a crisis as many investors are buying up properties in low- to moderate-income communities, further taking away homebuying options.

“The south side of our city is where individuals of color are moving into, diversifying those particular neighborhoods, and the rate of change of those neighborhoods how much lower more reasonable rate than what we’re saying in the gentrified areas,” Nelson said.

This trend continues to line neighborhood streets with rental properties, and there’s not much if anything to do about it.