FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2021
Contact: Andrew Bradley, Prosperity Indiana, (317) 222-1221 x403, firstname.lastname@example.org; Nia Bolden, Center for Community Progress, (877) 542-4842 x153, email@example.com
National Land Bank Leader Selects Prosperity Indiana to Join First Cohort of Scholarship Winners
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) announced today the first cohort of competitively selected scholarship winners, including Prosperity Indiana, through their new Land Bank Incubator Scholarship Program.
The program, made possible by generous support from Arnold Ventures, provides free technical assistance, valued at up to $75,000, to local and state leaders who seek to create new land banks and pilot innovative land bank practices in the face of emerging challenges to our communities and neighborhoods triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Great Recession proved that land banks are an innovative, impactful tool for virtually any community and can play a central role in repairing our neighborhoods through equitable, inclusive development that uplifts all people,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins, President and CEO for Community Progress.
These scholarships will help grow land banks across the country, ensuring that more communities are prepared to respond to and eliminate vacancy resulting from both historic challenges and the unprecedented pandemic. “We are excited to begin our partnership with Prosperity Indiana, working with local and state leaders that support our shared goal of utilizing land banks to advance an equitable recovery for all,” said Watkins.
“We’re fortunate in Indiana that we already have land bank enabling legislation, but our law needs some work for communities to maximize the benefits of this vital redevelopment tool. In light of the economic implications of COVID-19, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer to address the limitations in our state code,” said Jessica Love, executive director for Prosperity Indiana.
The national experts from Community Progress will work with Prosperity Indiana and stakeholders from across the state to identify and develop legislative reforms to optimize existing, but limiting, state-enabling land bank legislation so land banks can become a powerful tool to support equitable recovery efforts in communities across the great state of Indiana. The scholarship provides up to 200 hours of expert, technical support at no cost to Prosperity Indiana, as well as a small local grant for inclusive community engagement. The work will begin in July 2021 and continue through the first quarter of 2022.
“Thanks to the opportune timing of Community Progress’ technical assistance program, we’re looking forward to having recommended language ready before the General Assembly reconvenes in 2022 to address our land banking law’s various impediments,” said Love.
Prosperity Indiana has already formed a diverse and inclusive coalition of local, regional, and state leaders to ensure the proposed improvements meet the needs of urban, suburban, and rural communities across the state, one of the key reasons why the organization’s scholarship application was so competitive.
In addition to Prosperity Indiana, the first cohort of scholarship winners also includes the following:
The Growing Land Bank Need in the Face of COVID-19
Since 2010, approximately 200 land banks have launched across the United States, largely as a response to the Great Recession’s destabilizing impacts to neighborhoods all across this country, which brings the total of land banks in operation across the country to nearly 250. Land banks are special entities, created by state legislation, that are granted unique legal powers to effectively tackle vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties consistent with community priorities. These governmental entities—operating across diverse geographies like Toledo, OH, Omaha, NE, Houston, TX, Huntington, WV, and rural counties in NY—have proven to be effective tools for communities facing widespread vacancy stemming from economic crises, natural disasters, or other disruptive events.
Today, another national crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, is not only threatening public health, but also disrupting real estate markets, household security, and neighborhood vitality—and doing so with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Over the next few years, it is expected that state and local leaders will again turn to land banks to help minimize the harms of vacant, distressed properties and to assist in an equitable recovery.
The Land Bank Incubator Scholarship Program is a proactive effort to fill a critical need at a critical time.
As America’s leading organization helping communities address systemic vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration, Community Progress has led a number of initiatives to further one of the fastest growing community development tools, land banks. Those efforts include producing the seminal publications on land banks for the field of practice, collaborating to garner support for the National Land Bank Network Act, and helping develop land bank enabling legislation in 15 states.
About the Scholarships: Helping High-Need, Limited Resource Communities
The new Land Bank Incubator Scholarship Program supports growing the number of land banks across the country, driving transformative and innovative land bank practices in the face of emerging challenges to our communities and neighborhoods triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. A national, competitive program open to eligible applicants from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico, the initiative’s three primary objectives are to:
Communities interested in launching new land banks or seeking to advance optimal statewide land bank legislation are invited to learn more at https://www.communityprogress.net/land-bank-incubator-scholarship-pages-594.php.
For interviews or more information on the Land Bank Incubator Scholarships, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 542-4842.
About the Center for Community Progress
Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress is the national leader for building strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Today, Community Progress has affected change in more than 48 states and 300 communities through leadership education and advancing local and state reforms to systems, policies, and practices with a focus on racial equity. Simply, we work to transform “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.” For more information, visit www.communityprogress.org.
About Arnold Ventures
Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.
We are a team of more than 90 subject-matter experts headquartered in Houston with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. We work in four key issue areas: Criminal Justice, Education, Health, and Public Finance. Our work is guided by Evidence-Based Policy, Research, and Advocacy. For more information, visit www.arnoldventures.org.
About Prosperity Indiana
Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
May 17, 2021
Contact: Jessica Love | (317) 222-1221 x402 | email@example.com
Prosperity Indiana Receives $50k from First Financial for Capacity Building
INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to leverage a $50,000 grant from the First Financial Foundation and First Financial Bank (Nasdaq: FFBC) to support community-based organizations seeking to expand affordable housing and services across the Hoosier state. The grant will specifically underwrite Prosperity Indiana’s capacity building work with community economic development practitioners throughout Indiana.
“Working through Prosperity Indiana gives us a channel to invest in Indiana neighborhoods in a way that will give more individuals equal access to resources and opportunity,” said Roddell McCullough, director of community development for First Financial Bank. “First Financial exists to be woven into the communities we serve, so we look forward to the impact this funding will make in those communities throughout the state.”
As Indiana’s only cross-sector network for community development organizations, Prosperity Indiana builds capacity through cutting-edge training and consulting projects that nurture problem-solving, collaboration, and innovation skills. Through grant activities, Prosperity Indiana will strengthen the capacity of a wide variety of stakeholders dedicated to improving quality of life for the people and in the places that most need it. The ultimate goal of the program is to create economic resiliency for low- to moderate-income individuals. As Indiana communities rebuild post-pandemic, Prosperity Indiana has resolved to fortify the field’s ability to provide services and affordable housing with racial equity at the core of the work. Now is the time to consider new ways to bring about true organizational resilience that will lead to improved opportunities for the individuals and communities looking to rebuild in transformative ways in 2021 and beyond.
“Resources for nonprofit capacity building are so limited, it’s always significant when we can secure funding to make training and consulting more accessible to our members and partners. But in light of the pandemic and its impact on the level of need to provide affordable housing and family resiliency services, an award of this size from First Financial feels momentous,” said Jessica Love, executive director of Prosperity Indiana.
Grant funds are currently supporting the Changing4Good webinar series, Prosperity Indiana’s first major training installment of the year. The Changing4Good series will empower individuals to develop adaptive and technical solutions to meet post-pandemic challenges facing their organization and community. With support from First Financial, Prosperity Indiana is now able to make the Changing4Good webinar series free to anyone wishing to attend. Registration is now open. The First Financial grant will also support the upcoming Prosperity Indiana Real Estate Development Academy and other training and consulting related to industry-specific technical and adaptive challenges and expertise.
“With support from leaders in the Hoosier state such as First Financial, we look forward to continuing and expanding our support to the individuals, organizations and communities doing the hard work of strengthening our communities in equitable ways.”
About First Financial Bancorp.
First Financial Bancorp. is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of March 31, 2021, the Company had $16.2 billion in assets, $9.9 billion in loans, $12.6 billion in deposits and $2.3 billion in shareholders' equity. The Company's subsidiary, First Financial Bank, founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its six lines of business: Commercial, Retail Banking, Investment Commercial Real Estate, Mortgage Banking, Commercial Finance and Wealth Management. These business units provide traditional banking services to business and retail clients. Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $3.1 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021. The Company operated 143 full service banking centers as of March 31, 2021, primarily in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, while the Commercial Finance business lends into targeted industry verticals on a nationwide basis. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations, is available at www.bankatfirst.com.
March 17, 2021
CONTACT: Jessica Love | (317) 222-1221 x402| firstname.lastname@example.org
Prosperity Indiana Grows Team to Expand Capacity Building Resources, Programs
INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce that Marie Beason has joined the PI team as Capacity Building Director. In this role, she will utilize her skills in training and community development to strengthen pathways to prosperity for Indiana families, communities and the organizations that serve them. Another exciting update is that Teresa Reimschisel is moving to a full-time role as Operations & Special Projects Manager.
Beason’s deep roots in community-based programming began with her work as Executive Director of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) and grew throughout her career leading philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Prosperity Indiana, Beason operated a consulting practice helping nonprofit clients conceptualize strategies, assess programs and implement recommended action plans to achieve organizational success. Prior to consulting, Beason served as Director of Professional Development for the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, where she led organizational development efforts on behalf of Indiana’s philanthropic sector.
Beason said, “My career in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership has solidified my belief that social change is best achieved through a symbiotic relationship between policy, programs and philanthropy. Prosperity Indiana and its members serve vital roles within this triangle of change, and I am excited to help PI grow and build the capacity of its members.”
As Operations & Special Projects Manager, Reimschisel will maintain, evaluate and enhance day-to-day operational processes and organizational impact reporting. She will also support creation and expansion efforts of PI’s signature programs. With previous experience in management, classroom and individual instruction and advocacy, Reimschisel enjoys connecting organizations with resources that will multiply their impact.
Reimschisel said, “My background in higher education administration and years of community volunteerism combine to give me a profound appreciation for the work PI and our members do every day. I look forward to expanding our internal capacity and getting to know our members and partners better.”
Prosperity Indiana is excited to welcome Beason and Reimschisel as full-time “Pieces of the PI.”
The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
February 10, 2021
Prosperity Indiana and Indiana United Ways Release Shelter from the Storm
Today, Indiana United Ways and Prosperity Indiana are pleased to co-release Shelter from the Storm: How Avoiding a COVID-19 Eviction Crisis Helps All Hoosiers. This report is the result of a months-long roundtable of stakeholders from across the housing sector to address the public health and economic threats from pandemic-related housing instability. Participants included representatives from Indiana’s housing developers, multifamily and affordable housing providers, advocates from community economic development, antipoverty, homelessness and domestic violence prevention organizations, as well as representatives from the legal and public health sector and from Indiana’s courts, family services, and housing agencies.
Roundtable participants came together to discuss how COVID-19 housing instability affects public health and economic impacts for the state’s providers, residents, and communities. Experts from the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State, Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, and IU Public Policy Institute contributed presentations to help participants create recommendations for Indiana to take next steps. While resources, data, and presentations from the roundtable are reflected in the report, contributions do not imply organizational endorsement of any specific topics or involvement in next steps.
Throughout the roundtable, participants also contributed to a series of surveys that revealed a great deal of consensus about the threats of COVID-19 housing instability in Indiana, including:
While agreeing that more work needs to be done, roundtable participants coalesced on three broad recommendations for Indiana to take necessary next steps to avoid a COVID-19 housing stability crisis:
In addition to these broad recommendations, co-conveners Indiana United Ways and Prosperity Indiana believe the release of this report coincides with a critical opportunity for Indiana’s policymakers to take immediate steps to improve housing stability. The state of Indiana and several localities will soon receive $448 million in new federal emergency rental and utility assistance. Ensuring this new assistance reaches the residents, properties, and communities who need it most embodies the greatest areas of consensus among roundtable participants.
This report and recommendations are by no means the last word on COVID-19 evictions and housing instability in Indiana. Instead, the roundtable is intended to model the kind of robust policy conversation and guidance for Indiana’s policymakers to use to make immediate progress, even as additional discussions and work are needed.
Jessica Love Maureen Noe
Executive Director President/CEO
Prosperity Indiana Indiana United Ways
About Indiana United Ways
Indiana United Ways is the state association for United Ways in Indiana that supports thriving United Ways through capacity building, shared services, and partnering. Visit iuw.org to learn more.
The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 organization and individual members, representing thousands of practitioners statewide from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
February 2, 2021
Contact: Natalie James | (317) 222-1221 x406 | email@example.com
Prosperity Indiana selected as one of 8 new State Grantees to national Opportunity Starts at Home campaign
INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce that it has been selected to join a cohort of eight state-based organizations each to receive a $50,000 grant for the Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) national multisector affordable homes campaign. Prosperity Indiana will use the funding to expand the capacity of its ongoing OSAH activities and to diversify Indiana’s state housing coalition to include new partners from the health, civil rights, and economic opportunity sectors. These multi-sector partnerships will be leveraged to engage Indiana’s federal elected officials to enact policies which correct longstanding racial inequities and expand affordable housing for the nation’s lowest income people.
The grantees were selected through a highly competitive proposal process and will be formally recognized as state affiliates of the national campaign, as well as gain access to resources, multi-sector networks, and technical assistance from the national campaign. Each applicant demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing federal affordable housing solutions for the lowest income people, amplifying racial equity, and expanding partnerships to different sectors. In addition to Prosperity Indiana, the grantees are:
“Not only is it critical for Congress to hear from national advocates, but also from their own constituents in the states they represent,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign. “Prosperity Indiana will be a critical partner in helping the campaign achieve its goals. To be sure, the housing crisis cannot be solved without stronger federal action. And we are more likely to build the necessary political will in Congress when an array of sectors are standing shoulder-to-shoulder demanding solutions, rather than just housing advocates alone.”
In addition to this new cohort of grantees, the campaign also has previously established partnerships with Housing California, Maine Together, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Housing Network of Rhode Island, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, Oregon Housing Alliance, and Utah Housing Coalition.
“We are proud to join this cohort of leaders in affordable housing advocacy from across the country and thankful for the resources that will accompany this designation,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana. “The multi-sector strategy to engage our federal delegation embraced by Opportunity Starts at Home is a natural fit with the way we like to get things done in the Hoosier state. And so, as we move from COVID recovery to rebuilding, the timing seems right to start pulling together new partners to ensure increased options for housing stability are created for those who need it most.”
Follow Prosperity Indiana’s housing initiatives, including OSAH, through Housing4Hoosiers.org and on Twitter and Facebook. Follow the national Opportunity Starts at Home campaign on Twitter and sign up for its e-newsletter to get the latest updates about the campaign, including new partners, calls to action, events, and research.
December 23, 2020
Contact: Rita O’Donohue | (317) 222-1221 x405 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcing Candidates for Prosperity Indiana’s 2021 Summit Awards!
INDIANAPOLIS – Top community development leaders and programs across Indiana have been nominated for the prestigious Prosperity Indiana Awards. Winners have not been named and will be announced at the annual Prosperity Indiana Summit on January 13-14, 2021. The Michael Carroll Community Economic Development Leadership Award, presented by First Financial Bank, distinguishes an individual who has exhibited exceptional advocacy to further support the community economic development industry.
Joe Bowling, Englewood Community Development Corporation
Timothy Eckerle, Grant County Economic Growth Council
Jennifer Layton, LTHC Homeless Services
Austin Maxheimer, Community One
Annette Phillips, PathStone Corporation
The Robert O. Zdenek Staff Member of the Year Award, presented by Brightpoint, recognizes the outstanding professional leadership and commitment of a staff person working for a community economic development organization.
Anthony Bridgeman, PNC Bank
Serita Cabell, Memorial Community Development Corporation
Courtney Goodwyn, Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation
Eric Ogle, Office of Community and Rural Affairs
Travis Richards, Jay County Community Development Corporation
Emily Scott, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The Key Award for Supportive Services Program of the Year, presented by Merchants Bank of Indiana, honors excellence and innovation in a service-oriented (non-construction) community development initiative.
Digital Ready Businesses Program, Purdue Center for Regional Development and Purdue Extension Community Development
The Excel Center, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana
Homelessness and Housing Resource Team, Adult & Child Health
Kendallville Restorations, Inc.
LTHC Homeless Services
Maggie Bag Project, Stability First
Project Home Indy
The John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award, presented by Fifth Third Bank, is designed to celebrate outstanding leaders in the field of rural community economic development.
Alex Cornwell, The Waynedale News
Charyl Luth, Affordable Housing Association of Indiana
September McConnell, Community Foundation of Whitley County, Inc.
Are you interested in understanding just how eviction is affecting your local community? Have you or anyone you know ever been evicted? Are you looking for ways to engage with your community about eviction and also learn more in the process?
Researchers find 248,000-313,000 Hoosier households are at risk of eviction due to COVID-19. Another recent study estimates 150,000 evictions will be filed by January 2021 and $376,000,000 - $485,000,000 will be lost in rent shortfall in Indiana, unless policy solutions are implemented. Watch the Eviction Lab’s ‘Why Eviction Matters’ video here.
Sign up for our free 'Evicted in Indiana' Reading Guide and Webinar Series for your community organization! Join the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition for three webinars tying topics from Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted to current housing stability issues in Indiana and how to avoid a COVID-19 eviction crisis.
Click here to receive the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition’s Evicted reading guide. This guide is designed for individuals and organizations who want to learn more about housing stability issues. Read by yourself or lead your own book club. Check your local library or major retailer for a copy of Evicted.
By using the reading guide and participating in the webinar series, you will gain an understanding of the factors behind evictions, the personal and community impact of housing instability, and the risk of a COVID-19 eviction crisis.
For additional questions, contact Natalie James, Coalition Builder.
September 10, 2020
CONTACT: Jessica Love | (317) 222-1221 x402 | email@example.com, Michaela Wischmeier | (317) 222-1221 x409| firstname.lastname@example.org
Prosperity Indiana acquires Housing4Hoosiers
INDIANAPOLIS – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Housing4Hoosiers website and Help Desk service, formerly managed by South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities (SCIHO). SCIHO has ceased operations as of Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
“SCIHO has been a valued member of Prosperity Indiana, working to meet critical needs through affordable housing development in Monroe County, as well as creating tools and resources to address tenant needs in their service area and beyond,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.
Prosperity Indiana will maintain Housing4Hoosiers as an affordable housing resource to promote educational information about housing options and tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities in Indiana. The goal of the program is to ensure Hoosiers have safe, affordable, and stable homes they can count on in their community. “Renting in Indiana: A Handbook for Tenants and Landlords” was created and was recently updated by SCIHO and has been housed on the Housing4Hoosiers website.
Love said, “As the new home for Housing4Hoosiers, Prosperity Indiana aims to ensure it will become a key housing asset among our community economic development programs. We look forward to offering this advocacy, research and referral resource to benefit those we serve across our statewide footprint.”
Individuals may reach out to Housing4Hoosiers for assistance and resources related to affordable housing issues. Contact Housing4Hoosiers via email at email@example.com.
The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce two additions to our full-time staff: Michaela Wischmeier as Research & Communications Specialist and Natalie James as Coalition Builder.
Michaela Wischmeier began a new role of Research & Communications Specialist on August 31, after serving as an AmeriCorps Fellow with Prosperity Indiana since January 2020. In her AmeriCorps role, Michaela has assisted with various projects, including communications content such as the monthly “Piece of the PI” newsletter, advocacy research, survey development and analysis, and creating and compiling resources for members. As Research & Communications Specialist, Michaela will be responsible for developing and publishing effective communications across multiple platforms for the organization. She will also perform research, training, and consulting services throughout various program areas to assist Prosperity Indiana members.
In previous roles, Michaela has experience in prevention education and direct service work with domestic violence survivors, as well as nonprofit development and fundraising. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Affairs through IUPUI. Michaela is a lifelong Hoosier from Columbus.
Natalie James will join Prosperity Indiana in the new role of Coalition Builder on September 21. Natalie will serve as the lead staff person for several of Prosperity Indiana’s issue-based coalitions. These coalitions have the common purpose of advancing policies that help meet basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity for all, especially including Indiana’s most vulnerable and historically marginalized people and communities. Across each of these coalitions, Natalie will help advance Prosperity Indiana’s mission and policy priorities by engaging current members and expanding the reach and influence of these coalitions. By building diverse and inclusive partnerships with communities and individuals throughout the state, she will develop relationships and the advocacy capacity of members to achieve coalition goals.
Natalie comes to Prosperity Indiana after completing her service term as an AmeriCorps Public Ally with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation in Indianapolis. As a Public Ally, Natalie researched guidance on mixed-income housing best practices and recruited volunteers to support community building and economic development activities in the Mid-North area of the city. A native of Indianapolis and Dorchester, MA, Natalie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from Smith College.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Michaela and Natalie join as full-time “Pieces of the PI”. Please help us welcome them to the Prosperity Indiana team!
Prosperity Indiana Receives $50K from National Low Income Housing Coalition for COVID-19 response and recovery advocacy
Contact: Jessica Love, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org, 317-222-1221 x402
Andrew Bradley, Policy Director
email@example.com, 317-222-1221 x403
INDIANAPOLIS (April 15, 2020) – Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce an award totaling $50,000 from National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to support advocacy and education related to housing and homelessness prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will increase capacity for Prosperity Indiana to convene partners to advocate for short-term housing stability policy solutions and conduct longer-term education and research to achieve federal, state and local policies for an equitable response and recovery to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically rearranged the advocacy world in Indiana, quickly turning priorities upside-down across the housing and community economic development landscape. The pandemic has had disproportionate impact on Hoosiers by demographic groups, including people of color, and many of the counties hardest hit by COVID-19 also have the highest rates of rental housing instability and homelessness.
Since the outbreak first emerged, Prosperity Indiana has worked with partners and policymakers to ensure that the most vulnerable Hoosier families and the organizations that serve them are kept as safe as possible. On March 25, Prosperity Indiana thanked Governor Holcomb for heeding our call to protect Hoosier renters from dangerous expansion of retaliatory evictions in SEA 148 and for signing an executive order pausing residential evictions during the public health emergency.
The grant from NLIHC will allow Prosperity Indiana to expand on our advocacy response to the pandemic to date. Because the pause on evictions is currently set to expire on May 5, Prosperity Indiana recommended, on behalf of a newly forming housing coalition, that Indiana take steps to go further to protect Hoosier renters by extending the moratoriums to match those on federal leases; pairing federal and state resources to work with communities to provide emergency rental assistance; and use market-based tools to reimburse landlords who do not evict tenants after the public health emergency is lifted. Prosperity Indiana looks forward to using this new grant to bring together partners from the housing and anti-homelessness community across Indiana to research and educate policymakers about effective medium- and longer-term responses to the pandemic.
“We are thankful to NLIHC for this grant that will allow us to build on our policy recommendations to prevent homelessness during the peak of this pandemic by working with partners across the state to protect housing stability and avoid a wave of evictions, once the emergency orders are lifted,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.
“Now is the time to pair federal and state funds with community and private resources to ensure that Hoosiers are safe at home throughout the public health crisis and beyond. We want to do more than just survive this life-altering event. If we use this time to create the needed policy structures, housing stability for all Hoosiers shifts from becoming a possibility to a reality long-term,” Love said.
Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has used its broad membership base to help Hoosiers meet their basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity. The organization is known for its role as a convener and advocacy voice in Indiana’s community development landscape and has established its presence as an authority on housing and community development policy.
About the National Low Income Housing Coalition
Founded in 1974, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone. NLIHC’s goals are to preserve existing federally assisted homes and housing resources, expand the supply of low income housing, and establish housing stability as the primary purpose of federal low income housing policy.