EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Governor Holcomb’s office released the new Strategic Workforce Draft Plan on Thursday, outlining how well the city of Evansville is doing when it comes to creating affordable housing through blight elimination.
Greg Wathen, the President and CEO of the Economic Development Coalition spoke about what the city is doing to combat that issue. “What you’re going to do is turn around, take that property, and put it back on the tax roll, so you have some developable property.”
The four-year plan shows Evansville is a city of upward economic mobility. The report sees the completion of the I-69 project bringing in thousands of more people to the area.
“The very fact that it will be complete by 2024, from Evansville all the way to Indianapolis is very significant,” Wathen said.
So significant that the governor’s office reports the completion of the project bringing in around 11,000 additional housing units to combat the increase in residents. It’s something the city has been working towards for years, particularly affordable housing.
“With the Blight Elimination Program that was funded by the state, we’ve demolished around 400 blighted structures, we’ve put probably 300 back into use," said Kelley Coures, executive director for the Department of Metropolitan Development.
The report also shows about 15 percent of residents live below the poverty line.
The city says it’s all about getting potential homebuyers in a position where they are ready with their credit to buy a home, and that happens through better education.
“Not only do you need affordable housing units, both rental and home buyers, but in the case of the home buyer, they have to be ready to buy the home," Coures explained.
The state says, as more people in the community get certificate and college educations, the city will see a shift and less of a need for lower-income housing.