Housing crisis hits home for Shepherd’s neighbors. Here’s how you can help.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the cost to buy a home has increased 22.5% and rents have gone up 15%.

And there’s little to indicate that the trend is slowing down. In fact, across the United States this summer, housing prices shot up at the fastest rate since the 1970s.

“Housing costs are eating more into families’ income. Families should spend around 30% of their income on housing, but it’s much higher now,” Jay Height, Shepherd Community Center’s executive director, said. “That means other needs suffer, particularly food,”

With gentrification also spreading throughout Indy’s urban core, Height said residents have fewer affordable options as rents increase and houses and lots are sold and replaced with high-end homes.

“Many of our neighbors lack the income needed to rent or buy in the current market,” Height said. “They don’t have many options, and the housing they can afford tends to in bad condition or is unsafe.”

The federal government’s lifting of the ban on evictions this fall has added even more fuel to the housing crisis.

“We’re seeing families lose their homes, and a growing number of families who have been left homeless,” Height said.

To address the crisis, Shepherd’s team is building partnerships with landlords to help ensure that more of the existing housing stock is safe and affordable. Height said Shepherd is collaborating with partners to build affordable housing over the long term.

Shepherd also assists neighbors with job training, a range of educational opportunities, medical and food assistance, and childcare. All of those efforts help families increase their income or reduce expenses, which leaves more money to pay for housing. 

Churches and other organizations can support those programs by partnering with Shepherd to break the cycle of poverty in Indianapolis. To learn more, go to https://shepherdcommunity.org/serve/churches/


To sign up as a volunteer, including as a mentor or tutor, go to https://shepherdcommunity.org/serve/volunteer/

To donate to Shepherd’s programs that provide job training, food, medical care and other services, go to https://shepherdcommunity.org/give/