by Christy Heitger-Ewing

The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI) staff and the BAGI Advocacy Board commissioned Common Sense Institute, a non-partisan research organization, to prepare a housing report to get a better handle on attainable housing affordability in and around the Indianapolis area.

Attainable housing is quality, code-compliant, non-subsidized homes in communities with household incomes between 80-120% of the area median income of $54,000. This housing includes homes on smaller lots in higher density neighborhoods, courtyard or bungalow style communities, duplexes & townhouses, and multi-family housing.

“We believe that all Hoosiers, from Gen-Y buyers that are just entering the market, to millennials needing to expand their home due to a growing family, to empty nesters looking to make their last purchase, should have the opportunity to own a home that is best for their current lifestyle,” says Todd Pyatt, owner/ president of Pyatt Builders. “Attainable housing is paramount to this mission, as it affects all segments of the market. It’s the relief valve that can help stop the downward pressure on the market that has kept renters from becoming homeowners and made housing increasingly unaffordable.”

Common Sense Institute found that home affordability in central Indiana is at its lowest point in 15 years. The study also found that the Indianapolis metropolitan area has a housing deficit; to rectify that deficit, between 66,000 and 115,000 housing units will need to be built by 2028.

Making housing achievable for all Hoosiers is a top priority for local home builders throughout Central Indiana. However, their efforts to serve working families in Indiana have been under tremendous pressure due to a number of factors. Limited lot supply, lack of labor, continually rising costs, and now inflation and rising interest rates have burdened the ability to buy a new home. These challenges, along with cost adding local regulations such as architectural requirements, open space and density, and permitting and impact fees has priced out a large segment of buyers looking for new homes.

Julie Sharp, Executive Vice President with Merchants Capital, was part of a panel of local real estate experts who gathered in January 2023 to forecast housing affordability issues in Indianapolis. Sharp noted that the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that 72% of Indiana families are rent overburdened, which is the highest in the Midwest and 13th highest in the United States.

Communities cannot flourish without new households to put down roots. This is why Build Indiana Roots was formed. It’s a coalition of business groups and trade associations who support achievable housing for Hoosiers by educating them on achievable housing and advocating responsible, balanced housing policies so all residents can achieve their home-buying dreams.

“Build Indiana Roots is a perfect resource to help share information about achievable housing and the challenges faced by the industry to provide the American dream,” says Pyatt.

If you would like to join the coalition, visit to fill out a contact card.