Intend to introduce new homes to Indiana as part of the HomePower initiative

Intend Indiana is trying to breathe new life into the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhoods through its HomePower affordable housing initiative.

Serving communities in Indianapolis and the surrounding regions, Intend Indiana is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding community development by providing affordable housing and small business development.

Intend Indiana’s chief operations officer Stephanie Quick said the organization was rebranded in January 2020 when Renew Indianapolis and King Park Development Corporation partnered. She said the organization is now prioritizing its four key initiatives to better serve Indianapolis neighborhoods.

One such initiative is Renew Landbank, which helps reclaim vacant, abandoned, or derelict land. Affordable HomeMATTERS is another initiative focused on homeownership and the preservation and development of inclusive, diverse and equitable homeownership opportunities.

Intend Indiana unveiled four newly built homes as part of its HomePower program on November 4th. (Photo/Chloe McGowan)

The other two initiatives are the Build Fund and the Edge Fund. Build Fund focuses on small business lending and connecting local businesses to affordable finance, while Edge Fund provides flexible finance and promotes inclusive and diverse housing opportunities.

Intend Indiana recently received a $126,600 grant from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI) to fund its HomePower program, which matches homebuyers in Martindale-Brightwood with five rehabilitated homes and 12 new homes, Quick said.

The five rehabilitated homes sold for an average of $131,000, Denise Herd, a spokeswoman for Intend Indiana, said in an email.

“The real estate market has been very resilient, and for a low- to middle-income buyer, it’s a very challenging real estate market to enter,” Quick said. “We’re trying to expand that affordable inventory and create that pipeline of low- to middle-income buyers interested in living in the Martindale-Brightwood area so they can have a first opportunity — or a first look, that is.” to speak – on affordable homeownership opportunities.”

On November 3, Intend Indiana unveiled four of the HomePower program’s new build homes in the Martindale-Brightwood area. Each of the homes has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and approximately 1,500 square feet.

Quick said the Cummins Foundation contributed up to $90,000 toward the total sale price of the homes. She said this caps the sale price of the homes at $240,000 – which is based on construction costs – and lowers the buyer’s first mortgage to $150,000.

Quick said the $90,000 will then be included in the property as a “silent second” with zero percent interest and zero payments as long as the homebuyer stays in the home for a 10-year period. She said it says the 10-year affordability period.

Doris Barringer was the first person to move into one of the HomePower homes through Intend Indiana. (Photo/Chloe McGowan)

Doris Barringer, a substitute special education teacher at Indianapolis Public Schools, was the first person to move into one of the newly built HomePower homes. After renting for three years in a neighborhood she wasn’t comfortable living in, Barringer said she desperately wants another place to call her own — the only problem is that she can’t afford a down payment.

“Life is ups and downs with divorce and all that, so I had to rent for a couple of years and always wanted to own my own house again,” Barringer said. “I didn’t know if I could do this, but you just keep praying.”

However, after reading an article about the Cummins Foundation’s donation to the HomePower program in the Martindale-Brightwood area, Barringer said she called the next day to see if the program was actually doing what it said it would .

Within days, Barringer completed the application process and qualified her for the program. Two weeks later she has completed all the necessary steps, passed the financing and looked at houses. Barringer closed her home on August 19 and moved in on August 20.

“They were willing to work with me, maybe outside the norm of what most people do, go online, do this and that,” she said. “They made it easy for me because they told me what I needed.”

Barringer said she was close to giving up her dream of being a homeowner, but now she has a place to grow old, plant flowers and paint the walls without consequences.

The remaining nine of the 12 HomePower homes have homebuyers lined up to move in by the end of this year and early next year, Quick said. She said they are working to secure purchase agreements for the remaining three homes.

A majority of homebuyers go through Intend Indiana’s Homeownership 101 classes, Quick said. The classes provide training on financial preparation for home buying and teach first-time homeowners the necessary tools for maintaining a home, she said.

Intend has held a total of five Homeownership 101 classes in 2022, and Herd plans to restart the program in February 2023.

Going forward, Quick hopes to continue Intend’s HomePower program beyond the 12 homes and continue to work toward broader community development.

Contact staff member Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @chloe_mcgowanxx.