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Martindale-Brightwood to get $3.5 million in investments from city

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The Martindale-Brightwood community will receive about $3.5 million in investments over the next three years aimed at helping current homeowners and getting more families into homeownership.

The community was chosen as one of two Lift Indy neighborhoods this year. Lift Indy is a community development program that is part of the Department of Metropolitan Development and uses federal funds.

Barato Britt, president and CEO of Edna Martin Christian Center, said he sees an opportunity for “positive transformation” in Martindale-Brightwood, a community of about 11,500 people.

“That occurs best when the residents that are already here are able to take advantage of this new infusion of resources and amenities,” Britt said.

Most agree gentrification — whatever its specific definition — has been creeping into Martindale-Brightwood, and a few million dollars in investments could help prevent displacement.

“This community is deserving to be an attractive place where our kids can be educated well and you can feel just as safe as any other neighborhood,” Britt said.
The project area will be from 30th to 25th streets between Keystone and Ralston avenues.

• Renew Indianapolis will lead a mortgage refinance program to allow longtime residents to stay put.

• Renew Indianapolis will lead a mortgage program to make homeownership more attainable for up to 10 low- to moderate-income households.

• Renew Indianapolis will lead a construction program to create homeownership opportunities for another 10 low-income families.

• The Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation will lead a home repair program to help longtime residents upgrade things such as roofing, siding, insulation and patios.

• The Edna Martin Christian Center will lead a housing village initiative to provide wraparound services such as employment and career coaching.

Amina Pierson, executive director of Martindale Brightwood CDC, said mixed-income neighborhoods are a good thing but that it’s important everyone can feel good about their home.

Pierson said the organization will have about $500,000 of Lift Indy money and should be able to help with repairs at 20 homes over the course of the next three years.

“Our entire city has an interest in making sure that loyal residents of a neighborhood can and will prosper as their neighborhood flourishes,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said at a virtual press conference.

Other Lift Indy neighborhoods include Monon16 and East 10th Street. The Near North corridor is also a 2021 Lift Indy neighborhood. The city typically selects one neighborhood each year but added Martindale-Brightwood as a second one this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city uses data from the Reinvestment Fund and The Polis Center at IUPUI to identify areas for the program.

The $3.5 million will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Community Development Block Grant funds.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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