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There’s been spirited debate recently over how infrastructure impacts the urban core – namely, the connection between projects like the North Split interchange reconstruction and neighborhood vitality.  Thoughtfully planning our highways and bridges is important; Indy’s anchor strategy is about bridging the economic divides that loom largest in urban neighborhoods with housing, jobs and business opportunities.

The Indy Chamber has focused on understanding how to create inclusive growth across Indianapolis. The Chamber is working with partners such as The Brookings Institute to develop reports and recommendations for making economic opportunity more accessible for the benefit of people and employers alike.  (Check out some recent insight on these issues from Michael Huber and Brookings’ Amy Liu in the Indianapolis Business Journal.)

The Indianapolis Business Journal is also running an important series (“One City, Worlds Apart”) on the spread of high-poverty neighborhoods and the plight of the working poor across Marion County, resulting in growing gaps between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’  The piece gave a higher profile to the challenges that create the need for an Indianapolis Anchor Program.

The Indy Chamber, LISC and INHP are focused on expanding opportunity and enhancing quality of life in our urban core – the “anchor” of the Indy region – enlisting institutions with a long-term stake in the health of surrounding neighborhoods and the city they share.

Speaking of health, in this edition you’ll read about how Eskenazi Hospital is looking out for its patients and the local economy by revamping its culinary programs.  One of the hospital’s employees, Ivonne Martinez, also earned a shorter commute recently by taking advantage of the anchor housing program (with her hectic schedule, every minute counts).

It’s undeniable that Martinez’s neighborhood is stronger after welcoming her as a new homeowner – and a large body of socioeconomic analysis shows the positive effect of homeownership on community stability, public health and safety, and civic engagement.  June is Homeownership Month, and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) is celebrating three decades building bridges for low and moderate-income homebuyers through outreach, education and financial resources.

Each year, INHP helps thousands of Hoosiers realize their dream of homeownership – the essence of the American Dream, that also creates a stronger Indianapolis.  But INHP also has a broader mission that includes the Anchor Revitalization Program; look for a feature on the Partnership’s widespread community impact.

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