Indianapolis’ Far Eastside getting a $3.5 Million lift

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Far Eastside is getting extra investments as it is named the city’s next Lift Indy Neighborhood.

Mayor Joe Hogsett joined community leaders and city officials Wednesday for the designation, highlighting some of the initiatives the designation will help fund.

“Like our six previous lift Indy neighborhoods. The Far Eastside will receive investments in affordable housing, home repair, public services, and placemaking.”

This include projects and programs like:

  • Wrap-around services at CAFE using a two-generational approach and programming based on best practices, to lift Far Eastside families out of poverty and improve their quality of life. CAFE projects it will serve nearly 3,800 clients over the next three years. 
  • Creation of the Orchard Trail, to develop a walkable, ADA, pedestrian-friendly route that leads to 38th St. and has access points to adjacent neighborhoods. In efforts to address food access gaps, this public trail will also feature garden beds for the public to grow fresh produce.  
  • Owner-occupied repair programs through HOPE CDC, to serve 27 homes in Census track 3604.  
  • Edge Fund HomeSmart Affordable Home Mortgage Program through Renew Indianapolis Inc., to make affordable housing accessible to 10 low-to moderate-income homebuyers on the Far Eastside. 
  • HomeMATTERS Rehab-Homeownership through Renew Indianapolis, Inc., to help stabilize the neighborhood with 10 new homeownership opportunities through rehabbing existing homes. 

“Naming the Far Eastside as our seventh Lift Indy neighborhood creates a critical opportunity to enhance the lives of neighbors in the area,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This investment will enhance the work of CAFE, HOPE CDC, and Renew Indianapolis as they promote equitable growth and strengthen connections between residents. Today’s announcement only adds to the momentum of IndyGo’s Purple Line and the Oaktree Revitalization Plan, as we propel the Far Eastside forward.” 

Kendra Nowell, CEO of the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE), says having the extra support will help them serve their neighbors better.

“We have a lot of people that come through our doors that are maybe in the midst of a crisis right there at that moment,” said Nowell. “So taking them out of that crisis mode and providing a vehicle that will lead to sustainability and then in the long term really skilling up on that from whatever their goals are their careers are making sure that we are supporting them in their efforts to long term sustainability.”

The city has already been working to revitalize the city’s Far Eastside. In May, the Department of Metropolitan Development held a community meeting to solicit ideas on what to do with the former Oaktree Apartments side, which was torn down in 2019.

The city has also been fighting to demolish the controversial Towne and Terrace housing complex, which has been the site of several deadly shootings.

This investment means leaders in the area will be able to work towards making a difference in the area.

“Our Far Eastside partners have laid out a powerful and positive vision of what the future can be for families who call the Far Eastside and Eastside home, with attainable and accessible food, housing, and greenspace.” said Councillor LaKeisha Jackson. “I work with these organizations daily, and together I’m confident we will make a real and lasting difference for our community.” 

Lift Indy is part of Mayor Hogsett’s commitment to building sustainable, healthy Indianapolis neighborhoods. Since 2017, the City of Indianapolis has designated a new Lift Indy area every year through a data-driven and competitive process. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the application process expanded to include two neighborhoods with a focus on issues of equity and building capacity within the community development system made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act. 

To read more about the Lift Indy program, visit the Department of Metropolitan Development website.

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