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Pryor and E Laine of HGTV’s ‘Good Bones’: We can protect homeowners and spur revitalization

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INDIANAPOLIS - The following is an op-ed written by State Rep. Cherrish Pryor discussing the need for the legislature to enact policy that protects homeowners subject to rising tax burdens due to neighborhood revitalization. Karen E Laine of HGTV’s “Good Bones” lends her voice to the call to action:

There is no one to blame for the economic truths of positive change, but with housing becoming a growing challenge for so many Hoosiers, we cannot afford to displace any of our neighbors when revitalization occurs. 

I want to see our neighborhoods continue to improve, but also want to ensure families that call these places home are not priced out by rising financial burdens that come with needed neighborhood revitalization. The added costs that come with higher property taxes can push families out of their neighborhoods and further from access to resources, transportation, health care and the communities they have built for years. 

With the 2022 Legislative Session approaching, I remain hopeful about rethinking our state’s housing policies. I applaud efforts from the federal administration to protect vulnerable renters during the pandemic, but gaps remain in meeting the needs of local, long-time homeowners.

For years I have introduced legislation that would strike a balance between investing in neighborhoods and protecting residents; the bill has never been given a vote in the Indiana General Assembly. I plan to continue the fight by filing legislation that protects long-time homeowners from rising property taxes when the revitalization they fought for comes to their neighborhoods. 

Irrelevant of what side of the aisle you land on, we can all agree that safe, stable and affordable homes in neighborhoods of opportunity are key to people's health and economic prospects. 

I am thankful for community partners, like Karen E Laine of HGTV’s “Good Bones”, who I recently sat down with to discuss long-term solutions. In our meeting, E Laine stated, “I’m glad to see this legislation offer solutions that will keep people in their homes. The intention of our projects has always been to improve communities, especially those that have experienced a lack of investment.  We want to be good neighbors and see families who have called these communities home for generations enjoy the benefits of revitalization, not be driven out by rising costs.”

Through advocacy, policy and continued partnerships we can create a common vision for all people who want to call Indianapolis home. 

With federal COVID-19 recovery funds and a booming state surplus, Indiana has a unique opportunity to live up to its promise of protecting Hoosiers and finally enable fair housing for all.

Common sense, moral decency and Hoosiers demand action.

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