BRT is coming. Will affordable housing?


Rendering of a future stop on the Indy Red Line, the first of three new BRT lines being built. (Image: IndyGo via IndyStar)

A new loan fund has been launched in Indianapolis to acquire vacant lots, underutilized properties, and existing buildings to support the preservation and construction of mixed-income housing near transit lines. The $15 million Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Fund was created by the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) and will be used along Indianapolis’ bus routes and three future bus rapid transit lines.

Contributors to the fund include INHP, the City of Indianapolis, and JP Morgan Chase, and other capital banks. The idea was initially conceived during the 2020 planning process when the combination of housing and transportation costs were seen as a barrier to affordable living in the region. The fund was also imperative given the statewide prohibition of inclusionary zoning.

Equitable TOD acquisition funds have already been set up in numerous regions including Denver, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Seattle region. According to Enterprise Communities Partners, $92.8 million has been seeded in these three regions alone for equitable TOD. So far the Indianapolis fund has acquired two parcels near future Red Line stops to support housing.

For more information on equitable TOD, visit for reports such as Oriented Toward Equity: A Rating System for Equitable TOD and three reports from Enterprise Community Partners on Promoting Opportunity through Equitable TOD: Making the Case, Barriers to Success and Best Practices for Implementation, and A Research Summary.

What’s new on the pod?

You’ve probably heard of Minneapolis 2040, the groundbreaking comprehensive plan in Minneapolis that eliminates exclusive single-family zoning and puts the city on track to reach its climate goals. But what impact will the plan have on density, transit, and TOD? Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender answers those questions and more this month on Building Better Communities with Transit. Listen on Soundcloud, Stitcher, iTunes, Overcast or wherever you get your podcasts.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.

  • Oregon lawmakers pushing for dense housing near transit (Willamette Week)
  • Research: Comparing trip/parking generation at Portland TOD and Salt Lake City TAD (Cities Journal)
  • Chicago’s latest ordinance expands eTOD (CNT)
  • Controversial Lincoln Yards TIF district clears commission (Curbed Chicago)
  • Clearer vision emerges for Grapevine Transit District (Community Impact Newspaper)