City releases data trove on abandoned, blighted homes initiative

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The city of Indianapolis launched a web site this week to track improvements and improve transparency involving the city’s initiative to tackle blighted and abandoned homes.

The "2,000 homes” dashboard—named after a pledge by Mayor Joe Hogsett to “rehab, transform, or demolish” 2,000 homes in two years— allows residents to see addresses of blighted homes, their owners, and the type of city intervention they have received or will receive.

The city also released updated data on vacant and abandoned property on its “open data portal"—so residents can view homes in need of intervention and possibly hold the city accountable in making repairs.

“The dashboard allows for transparency with residents as we work toward our goal of transforming 2,000 homes, ensuring that Indianapolis neighborhoods remain ideal places to live, work, and play,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a written statement.

IBJ reported last month that the city, about at the halfway point of the 2,000 homes initiative, is in a rush to use about $3 million remaining in soon-to-disappear federal money to tear down blighted homes in the city.

Federally funded demolitions are part, but not all of, the mayor's initiative.

The Hogsett administration and its partner organizations say they have tackled more than 850 properties so far through a variety of interventions—from demolition, to new construction, to rehabilitation, to helping homeowners with relatively inexpensive repairs—like fixes for siding, roofs, foundations and broken windows—to bring their buildings back up to code.

In doing so, the city has built or made habitable again more than 1,500 units. Some of the properties contain multifamily dwellings, which means rehabbing one building creates more livable units.

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