The Mid-North area is Indianapolis’ latest pick for the 3-year Lift Indy community development program that infuses federal dollars into sectors of the city to propel revitalization.
The initiative will direct $3.5 million to the area to help aid creation of a supportive housing development, an affordable rental housing program, an early childhood education center and a grocery project, according to Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration.
“Like past Lift Indy neighborhoods, our goal is to preserve the economic and demographic diversity of the area by securing realistic and affordable options for long-term residents,” Hogsett said Friday at Tarkington Park. “It’s critical that those who have stood by their neighborhood for decades can afford to reap the benefits of that loyalty.”
Mid-North roughly resembles an inverted triangle with 38th Street as its northern boundary, with I-65 extending southeast to 21st Street as the western boundary and Fall Creek extending southwest as the eastern boundary. It includes the Mapleton Fall Creek, Crown Hill, Highland and Meridian Highland neighborhoods.
Mid-North is Lift Indy’s sixth designee, after Monon16, the Old Southside, East 10th Street, the Near North and Martindale-Brightwood. City officials say they’ll announce an additional designee later this month, thanks to a federal American Rescue Plan allotment.
The program works by directing a “significant portion” of two U.S. Housing and Urban Development grants to Indianapolis—the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and the Community Development Block Grant—to specific areas. But this year’s awards focus on areas disproportionately impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, city officials say.
“It’s no secret that the past 18 months have been extraordinarily difficult for many of our neighborhoods, including the Mid-North,” said City-County Council President Vop Osili. “While the entire city has wrestled with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, few areas were more harmed than the Mid-North.”
Osili cited research from IUPUI’s SAVI community data system, which in 2020 mapped out the health and economic impacts of the pandemic on the city’s neighborhood. There, the financial impacts of COVID-19 were particularly pronounced.
The Mapleton-Fall Creek Community Development Corp., the Raphael Health Center and Midtown Indianapolis Inc. will lead work on the housing, education and nutrition projects, according to a news release. The Kheprw Institute, Crown Hill Neighborhood Association, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the North United Methodist church were also part of the application team.
“Everywhere you look around Mid-North, you can see evidence of civic partnerships that makes things like today possible,” said Councilor Duke Oliver, whose district includes much of the area. “… We know that any project will be successful because it is built on a foundation of these partnerships.”