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Advocates say lawmakers fell short of addressing critical housing needs

 The Indiana Statehouse building up against a dark blue sky.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Housing was a top priority at the Statehouse in 2023, following the work of a legislative task force the year before.

As affordable housing becomes increasingly out of reach for Hoosier renters, advocates say lawmakers didn’t do enough this past session to address the growing crisis.

Housing was a priority at the Statehouse in 2023, following the work of a legislative task force the previous year.

But Prosperity Indiana’s Andrew Bradley said that didn’t result in the kind of holistic solutions needed to address the housing shortage.

“I think that there were a few piecemeal pieces that will help individual pockets of Hoosiers,” Bradley said.

That includes a measure, SB114, to help tenants keep the lights and heat on and water running when landlords don’t pay the bills. Another, HB1575, aims to ease regulations and update the state’s building codes.

But the big housing bill of the session, HB1005, doesn’t include any language aimed at affordability for lower-income Hoosiers, the population with the biggest shortage. It creates a revolving loan fund that allows local governments to pay for infrastructure costs in new housing developments.

READ MORE: Affordable housing increasingly out of reach for average Indiana renter

Bradley said making that fund effective relies on local governments to step up.

“To go in and say, we want to make sure that those funds are really targeted to where the needs are,” Bradley said.

The legislature put $75 million into that fund in the new state budget.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2023 IPB News. To see more, visit .

Brandon Smith