INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers are looking at ways to help Hoosiers find affordable homes.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) has said it’s one of the legislature’s top priorities this session.

For some Hoosiers, finding a place to buy or rent within their budget has been a challenge.

“Even apartments, when it came to the pricing of them, it was excessive,” said Shennea Dixon of Indianapolis.

Dixon qualified for a home through Habitat for Humanity. Given the rising home prices and interest rates today, she said, she doesn’t know how she would have found a place to live otherwise.

“I would more than likely still be in my mother’s garage at this point,” she said.

Many more Hoosier families are seeking help right now.

Greater Indy Habitat For Humanity has received more than twice the number of inquiries this year compared to 2021, according to president and CEO Jim Morris.

“The folks who used to be able to buy based on those incomes no longer can reach that entry-level home,” Morris explained.

That’s why lawmakers are looking at ways to increase the supply of homes for low- and middle-income Hoosiers.

State Sen. Linda Rogers (R-Granger) is considering ways to encourage donations to nonprofit organizations like Habitat.

“If there were some type of tax credit for someone that would want to contribute to help so that they can build more houses,” Rogers said.

Lawmakers are also looking at tax incentives and potential cuts to property taxes. Local governments have raised concerns about those possible cuts.

That’s why State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) is proposing a compromise to cap year-to-year property tax increases for some homes worth less than $200,000.

“They could only put it in areas in which the assessed values are drastically increasing,” Pryor said.

“You work full-time, you contribute, you should be able to afford a home,” Dixon said.

Speaker Huston has said lawmakers are also looking to add more funding for economic development grants, which may help improve the housing supply in some areas.