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Martindale-Brightwood group breaks ground on townhomes project with other improvements planned

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A new project in the Martindale-Brightwood community will bring new, affordable housing with the goal of not displacing current residents. The Rural Street Comprehensive Development Project, led by the Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation, will include two townhomes on North Rural Street, with plans for more, as well as an expanded community garden and repairs to homes in the neighborhood.

The goal of the program is to increase and preserve affordable housing in the Martindale-Brightwood community, Elizabeth Gore, longtime resident and former president of the community development corporation, said at a groundbreaking Aug. 12.

A rendering of the Rural Street Comprehensive Development Project. The project will bring six new townhomes to the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. (Rendering provided by Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation)

“The goal and vision of the MBCDC is to reach out to those in the community who are frequently overlooked or bypassed for quality homeownership,” Gore said.

In addition to the housing project near the corner of 25th Street and Rural Street, Heritage Community Garden and Pocket Park will get new permanent stadium seating, updated landscaping and new picnic tables under the shelter. 

Many families who went to school and grew up in the area can’t afford to live there, said Amina Pierson, the group’s executive director, and the preservation of affordable housing has been lacking.

The project is in the development stages, with vacant lots acquired and 95% of the funding secured. By the end of the year, six three-bedroom housing units will be available to purchase.

To preserve affordable housing, the development corporation is offering homeowners up to $4,000 for home repairs. The group wants to make sure the program helps everyone, not just residents looking for a new place to live.

Affordable housing is something the Martindale-Brightwood community needs, said Phyllis Banks, president for One Voice Martindale Brightwood

“It’s going to make them feel better,” Banks said. “It’s going to make their children feel better. And when you feel better, you make those around you feel better.”

Contact staff writer Jayden Kennett 317-762-7847 or email at jaydenk@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @JournoJay.

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