With Fishers continuing to grow as a suburb of Indianapolis, affordable housing will be in short supply and city officials are beginning to talk about the housing needs for workers and senior citizens. During a city council work session October 16th, City Planner Dale Davis laid out the issues facing the city on the housing front.
The median family income in Fishers is between $90,000 and $100,000 a year. The median home price is around $250,000.
Davis gave an example of a married couple, a firefighter and a teacher, each at roughly the mid-point of their respective careers. Their combined family income would be just over $90,000, barely within the local median income.
Using the 30% of income figure for housing provided in federal guidelines, that couple should be spending no more than $1,650 a month for a home. The mortgage on that $250,000 house would be roughly $1,646 a month (there are many variables such as amount of the down payment).
“That family would be pretty close to what would be their maximum on that,” Davis told council members.
Many startups that are popular in Fishers have people working there making around $44,000 a year. Davis asks where they would live in the Fishers area?
Davis then turned to the issue of senior citizen housing. Population forecasts indicate the senior population in the area will continue increase as Fishers grows, to over 23,000 by the year 2040.
Both young people and seniors want walkability, shops and low maintenance, so Fishers is on the right track for both groups, according to Davis.
“As you think about IKEA, you think about Top Golf, you think of all these other places that we have around Fishers, there may be a reasonable discussion to think about – can affordable housing make sense in our city?,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness told members of the City Council. “I think the senior housing should not be discounted at all. I think that is going to be a huge, huge need in our city.”
The mayor emphasized that to move forward on affordable housing, it will take leadership from himself and members of the city council to get such projects done.
The city council members then had a general discussion of the issue, and there appeared to be support in general for an affordable housing program, particularly for seniors. Mayor Fadness said he wanted the council to receive information on the issue.
Now we will wait to see what next steps city officials choose to take.
I recorded a podcast with people from Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (known as HAND) October 2nd. HAND deals with affordable housing issues in Hamilton County. You can listen to the podcast at this link.