INDIANAPOLIS – Analysts at the IU Public Policy Institute’s Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy have created a new roadmap for economic growth in Indianapolis—one that centers around ensuring development strategies that focus on economic equity and inclusion.
Research has shown that economic outcomes are heavily influenced by a person’s starting position in life, affecting their access to health care, education, food, asset-building opportunities, and more. These starting positions also are impacted by legacies of racism, gender inequity, and inequitable housing access, all of which can limit a person’s ability to fully participate in and contribute to their local economy.
These factors helped the team at CRISP develop new guidance for the Indy Chamber and city leaders. After analyzing previous studies on economic inclusion, they determined successful and equitable economic development strategies should focus on (1) existing assets and wealth, (2) economic pathways to success, (3) equitable communities, and (4) access to housing, education, transportation, health care, and child care opportunities.
“Any region hoping to achieve full economic inclusion and prosperity must address institutional disparities at face value,” says Chris Holcomb, a program analyst at PPI. “As a growing community, Indianapolis has an opportunity to rectify environmental and economic disparities that dictate lifelong outcomes for children by pursuing our policy recommendations.”
Some of those recommendations include:
- Focusing economic development on initiatives that create wealth-building and entrepreneurship opportunities for systemically disadvantaged groups.
- Focusing policy on increasing homeownership opportunities for systemically disadvantaged groups and enabling the construction of new affordable housing.
- Limit the use of special tax district mechanisms used in areas experiencing growth. Instead, direct public funding and small business development to the areas that need it most.
- Adopt a “health in all policies” approach to ensure public health and environmental justice are considered in evaluating all new programs or investments.
- Increasing the availability of other important prerequisites for fully participating in an economy, such as health care and public transportation.
To view the full list of recommendations and research, read CRISP’s latest policy brief below.