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City meets deadline to get federal money for housing projects

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On The Beat Industry News In Brief

The city just met a Sept. 20 deadline for securing $29 million in federal money that will be used to acquire, demolish and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned homes.

Work already has begun on some of the projects, spread throughout four Indianapolis neighborhoods that were chosen based on factors such as crime and foreclosure and vacancy rates.

OTB government A boarded-up double near the intersection of Park Avenue and 29th Street is due to be rehabilitated. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The city’s money is part of $4 billion that was distributed to communities across the United States in 2008 as a way to address the country’s housing troubles.

Indianapolis must spend its share of the dollars—dubbed the Neighborhood Stabilization Program—by 2013. The recent deadline was the date by which the funds had to be officially assigned to specific projects. Note: It could happen but it’s desirable to find funding

Not-for-profit and for-profit developers are handling the rehabilitation projects. In recent months, some of the groups had been struggling to leverage their federal funds with private dollars because of the scarcity of loans in the tough economy.

But in recent weeks, groups such as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Local Initiatives Support Corp., Clarian Health and Citizens Energy Group have stepped up to assist the not-for-profit developers, said Bill Taft, executive director of LISC.

Interest in the projects among traditional lenders such as banks also has increased.•

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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