Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley on Friday started the process to create a community development corporation to help revitalize declining neighborhoods in the city southeast of downtown Indianapolis.
Buckley formally requested its establishment with a signed proclamation, which will be presented to the city’s redevelopment commission for consideration. The mayor hopes to hire an executive director and have the CDC operating within the next month.
Through the CDC, Buckley hopes to offer potential homeowners stipends to repair exteriors of their residences with the contingency that they actually own and occupy them, he said.
“One of our goals is to attract young professionals and young families to our city,” Buckley said. “If we can provide funding to fix up homes, if we can offer funding for down payments, and if young folks agree to be owner-occupants, we can begin to redevelop our neighborhoods.”
About 70 homes in the city of 14,100 are vacant. The number is not unusually high, Buckley said, but getting them occupied has been a goal of his since becoming mayor in January.
The city will seek state and federal funding in addition to private-sector money to fund the not-for-profit.
Community development corporations have been integral to the revitalization of several Marion County neighborhoods, Buckley said, including the near-east side and Fountain Square.
He hopes to add Beech Grove to the list.
“The city, in the past, has not been very good about selling itself,” he said.