Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Voices Session. The objective of the event provided the Community to explain to local leaders their challenges. After the event, I took away a list of new priorities. Create opportunities for Citizens of Indianapolis to obtain financial literacy, homeownership, jobs that sustain a family, and clean food to eat.
I began to think about all the abandoned properties in Indianapolis, commonly referred to as "problem properties." The city or the county owns a lot of the houses, let us figure out a way to repair the homes and get them owned by families who are in the constant cycle of renting. At the same time, allow the families to participate in the process to rebuild the home by providing them opportunities for employment for on the job training in a or multiple skilled trades. Furthermore, the plan requires qualified families to undergo financial literacy courses to achieve completion. Finally, at the end of the program, the homes are sold to the families at a marginal rate.
To this point, I have documented a 30,000-foot view of what the program looks like and have begun conversations with the Department of Metropolitan Development to see how we can take make this plan a reality.
Here is the plan:
My Indianapolis Plan
Author: Councilor Michael-Paul Hart
"It takes a community to build a community."
My Indianapolis Plan focuses on four main components: Redeveloping "Problem Properties", Teaching Skill Trades, Teaching Financial Literacy, and Increasing Home Ownership within the impoverished community. Indianapolis has an abundant supply of problem properties; the first component is to redevelop these properties. The second and third components address citizens' needs in our community, providing them with an opportunity to obtain financial literacy and on the job training for skilled trade employment. The fourth component increases property ownership within Indianapolis by selling the property at a marginal rate to the individual who helped repair it.
What type of hierarchy do I have in mind?
By no means is this an end all be all, this is the first attempt. Ideally, My Indianapolis Plan is led by a non-profit organization that oversees the four components of the plan. The four lower agencies can be Non-Profit, Government, or Private Entities. There could be opportunities for a single agency to manage multiple components, and there could be opportunities for single components to require multiple agencies.
The Lead Organization has the bulk of the responsibility; they would act as the conductor for the program, the process for a candidate begins and ends with the lead organization.
Ideally, I am not looking to recreate the wheel. The best-case scenario would be to make use of established organizations to help get the ball rolling.
What are the responsibilities of each organization?
1. Obtain Funding
a. Local, State, and Federal Grant Options
b. Philanthropic Donations
c. Other methods that I don't know about
2. Program Coordination
a. Candidate Intake Process
b. Project Management
3. Manage Partner Agencies
a. Skilled Labor Partnerships
i. Private Trade Businesses
ii. Private Trade Unions
4. Financial Literacy Team (In-house or Outsourced)
5. Housing Procurement
a. Renew Indianapolis
8. Finance & Accounting
Identify Available Houses in Indy
Procure the Houses
Skilled Labor Knowledge
Rebuilding the Houses
Teaching / Employing Candidates
Understand what is not understood
Teach Financial Literacy
Post Program Support
Learn Financial Literacy
Learn and Work in the trade
What is the program cycle?
The cycle above is oversimplified but provides a general understanding of the objectives for a candidate to proceed through the program.
Who does this program help?
The City of Indianapolis: Reduce the number of problem properties within our city and increase city pride through homeownership. We will also Improve the median income in the city by providing our citizens on the job training in a skilled trade. Homeownership significantly reduces crime*. https://nebeconandbus.org/journal/EBJIP2009NiDecker.pdf
Skilled Traded Businesses: We can focus on providing opportunities to small businesses. An opportunity to build public-private partnerships and provide project opportunities to qualified small businesses within Marion County.
Non-Profit Organizations: Expand the footprint of some non-profits or allow others to cultivate and grow through new opportunities.
Our Citizens: Most importantly, we can help our citizens grow by providing opportunities to gain the financial literacy skills they are potentially lacking. Provide opportunities for on the job training and the skills to go along with it. Finally, providing a sense of ownership in the city by owning a home.
Thank you for reading, I will keep this blog updated with the progress of this plan. Remember, this is the first draft and very much an overview, I have many more details to add, time is against me!