Feasibility Assessments, Indianapolis Housing Authority

The Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) owns and operates 14 developments with 2,100± units.  It also administers about 1500± Section 8 certificates.  Downtown Indianapolis has experienced tremendous growth within the last ten years.  A few years ago, Indianapolis’ downtown practically closed up at the end of the workday.  But civic leaders and private developers joined together and renovated eight turn-of-the-century steel facades….  Behind the facades, they gutted the build­ings and erected a shop­ping mall.  ­Outside it look­ed like a revitalized old city; inside it was a facsimile of the suburban mall.

Today, people congregate downtown after hours and businesses are relocating there fast.  More than 20 different construction projects are expected to be complete by 2001.  Indianapolis has also spruc­ed up its convention center and built a new stadium.  “We didn’t want to just build a new mall,” says Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, “we wanted to build a new downtown.  We created life, literally, in the center of town.”

IHA recognizes the impact of the Federal balanced budget on its operating and capital support system.  It is devising a comprehensive strategic plan which will position it to effectively meet its operating mandate of ensuring affordable housing.  It is seeking to understand the opportunities presented by its current assets, including owned housing, a cash flow of operating and capital funds, an effective rehabilitation procurement and management operation, a warehousing operation, multi-family management and management capacity, and financial management for Federally-assisted housing programs.

Rogers Company Inc (RoCoInc) was retained to conduct feasibility and needs assessments of IHA’s developments, and provide a way of realizing the opportunities.  In completing this assignment RoCoInc assessed the market potential of IHA’s properties, evaluated housing market dynamics, completed reconnaissance of the business environment and players in the Indianapolis housing market with a particular eye to those attending to housing needs of households below median income, and evaluated IHA’s operational assets.

RoCoInc produced reports summarizing IHA’s assets and options, and will assist with developing a Comprehensive Strategic Plan that will meet IHA’s objectives while responding to shifts in market needs.ubled Agency recovery team, Damian Colden was required to review the existing utility allowances and develop a an updated allowance schedule. The schedule that was in use had not been updated since 1987. It was decided that an engineered computer model should be developed based on sound engineering principles and industry rules-of-thumb. Prior schedules had been developed based on tenant consumption data which was incomplete, inaccurate or allowed for the inclusion of excessive usage. By using a engineering-based computer model, the biases introduced by usage patterns and other anomalies were minimized.

Damian also performed an energy analysis and recommended eight energy cost saving measures to the Housing Commission.

Year: 1998

Contributor: J. Scot Rogers, Damian Colden

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