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Advocates call for governor to create commission to address worsening housing crisis

A red, white and blue flag waves in front of a brick building with NOW LEASING written in black letters.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Homeownership rates have declined in Indiana over the past decade, with the pace of decline among Black households nearly triple the overall rate.

Hundreds of Indiana housing advocates are calling on the governor to create a commission to address the state’s ongoing housing crisis.

The call to action came in a letter, led by Prosperity Indiana. Senior Director of Policy and Strategy Andrew Bradley said the state’s housing issues have worsened, even as lawmakers have taken steps meant to improve it.

“There are only 34 affordable and available rental homes in Indiana for every 100 extremely low-income households,” Bradley said “And at the same time, for that population, Indiana now has the highest rate of severe housing cost burden in the entire Midwest.”

READ MORE: Affordable housing increasingly out of reach for average Indiana renter

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Bradley said the governor’s commission could be modeled after the Indiana Commission on Improving the Status of Children — made up of various agencies, stakeholders and lawmakers.

“We need a commission because only a governor can bring together those different state agencies and, for one thing, get them singing from the same hymnal sheet," Bradley said.

Bradley said a commission could also help identify revenue streams that can be better aligned to address the housing crisis.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.