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New Housing Development Will Target Teachers As Homeowners

"Teachers' Village" east of downtown seeks to provide affordable haven for IPS, charter school teachers

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A new housing development on Indy's near eastside is targeting teachers.

Indianapolis is rehabbing blighted homes and filling in vacant lots to create a 21-home "Teachers' Village." When the houses are built next year, they'll be available at below-market prices to anyone making close to the median income -- about $39,000 a year or less.

But while anyone meeting the income guideline can apply, the community development group Near East Area Renewal will market the program specifically to teachers in the Indianapolis Public Schools and charter schools authorized by Mayor Joe Hogsett. Executive director John Franklin Hay says the cluster of teachers should bring stability to the neighborhood while reducing teacher turnover. And he says it's already helping the area by ridding it of eyesore properties.

Buyers must agree to remain in the home for at least five years.

Fourth grade teacher Phoebe Duvall says she started work at the Paramount School of Excellence with the intention of becoming a part of the community beyond the school. But she says she discovered all the nearby housing was either too expensive for her salary or in high-crime neighborhoods. She ended up a 25-minute drive from school, and says she'll be one of the first in line for the new houses.

Hogsett first floated the "Teachers' Village" concept during his 2015 campaign for mayor. The $3 million project is being paid for with federal grant money and funds from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership.

NEAR executive director John Franklin Hay on the site of the planned Teachers' Village. (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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