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Pryor: Affordable housing should be prioritized by General Assembly

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INDIANAPOLIS – A recent study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Prosperity Indiana found Indiana to have one of the lowest rates of affordable and readily available rental units in the Midwest.

Roughly 72% of Hoosier renters living at or below the poverty line are severely housing cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than half their annual income on rent. Oftentimes, this means forgoing adequate food and health care to make rent. The study found housing insecurity is an issue throughout the state, happening in rural, urban and suburban communities alike.

“Hoosiers deserve better,” State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) said. “Last session, our General Assembly spent our time focused on the non-issue of Critical Race Theory in classrooms and eliminating the safeguard requirement of a permit to own a firearm.

“Meanwhile, Hoosiers across the state are struggling with the very real reality of poverty, evictions and homelessness. It should be the priority of every state legislator to ensure Indiana residents have the highest quality of life possible, and that starts with secure access to housing.”

Historic practices such as redlining and discriminatory appraisal practices put African American Hoosiers at a greater risk of housing insecurity. Last session, Pryor authored House Bill 1326, which would have prohibited discrimination in appraisals and lending based on an applicant's race, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance, but never received a hearing.  Pryor has asked that the issue of discriminatory appraisals and redlining be a topic of discussion during the 2022 Interim Study Committee process.

“We cannot claim to be a state that works for our people when so many of our residents struggle to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads,” Pryor continued. “I will continue to advocate for affordable housing for all Hoosiers, and I hope that my colleagues will step up and do the same.”

For the National Low Income Housing Coalition study, click here.

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