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HomePower program helps Black homebuyers build wealth in Indianapolis

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A new program in Indianapolis is helping Black and brown homebuyers build wealth and revitalize their community. The HomePower program, launched by Intend Indiana in 2022, combines affordable financing with new homes built on vacant properties by local minority business enterprise (MBE) contractors.

The HomePower program has invested more than $5 million in the Martindale-Brightwood community. This investment has helped to revitalize the neighborhood and create a more equitable housing market.

Rocquel “Rocky” Johnson of Indianapolis recently went through the HomePower program while experiencing some of the most life-changing events at the same time. Johnson was new to motherhood and recently lost both parents. Johnson’s parents left her a family home that was simply too much to maintain, forcing her to sell the home.

This move put Johnson in a dark, unfamiliar place. It was during this moment that an acquaintance suggested that Johnson get involved in Intend Indiana’s HomePower program. On a whim, Johnson applied to the program, and the rest was history.

“I got so much information and so much knowledge from the program,” Johnson said.

Johnson attended her first Intend Indiana class in March of last year. Less than eight months later, Johnson closed on her home. Johnson became a homeowner before the age of 30.

Johnson’s nearly 1,500-square-feet home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

“Everything went really fast,” Johnson said. “I can leave my kids something tangible, and that is a dream come true for me.”

Chief Operating Officer of Intend Indiana Stephanie Quick loves the success stories of people like Rocquel Johnson.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity that has been created for (Rocquel) and future Martindale-Brightwood residents,” Quick said. “Intend Indiana is committed to eliminating barriers to homeownership and revitalizing neighborhoods.”

The HomePower program by Intend Indiana uses public-private partnerships to create positive changes in communities.

The program has been a success so far: 92% of the homes have been sold to Black and brown homebuyers, and the average homebuyer received $90,000 in equity at closing.

The participation rate for MBE contractors met the goal of 75%, and more than $2.25 million in construction contracts were awarded to minority contractors.

Contact multi-media staff writer Noral Parham III at (317)-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com Follow him on Twitter @NoralParham.

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