Lindley Run proposal could bring affordable housing to Westfield

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At its Sept. 10 meeting, Westfield City Council heard a proposal for an affordable housing development called the Lindley Run Planned Unit Development. The development consists of 107 acres to the east of Grassy Branch Road between 191st and 196th streets.

If approved, the development would be split into three separate districts including 133 single-family detached units, 60 duplexes and 240 for-sale townhomes. The townhomes would begin at $150,000, and the duplexes would begin in the low $200,000s. The single-family homes, including both ranch and two-story styles, would begin in the mid-$200,000s and stretch into the $300,000s.

Prior the proposal, city council president Jim Ake provided some data on affordable housing in Hamilton County. According to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, 41 percent of county residents earn wages that allow them to purchase a home worth less than $200,000. However, the median closing price on a new home in the county was $336,000. Only 15 homes were for sale within Westfield Washington Township in the $160,000 to $240,000 price range, but that price range exceeded any other home sales last year.

“In our township, there are only 15 homes for sale in the $160,000 to $240,000 price range. That is very low inventory,” Ake said.  “Westfield is working to be a place where families can grow and prosper, offering a variety of entry points into our housing market. As we grow, the economy is in need for workers. This project will offer the current and future workforce an opportunity to live in Westfield. The lack of affordable housing is a regional problem.”

Council member Steve Hoover brought up a concern of teachers and public safety officials being unable to live in Westfield, as even homes in the $150,000 to $200,000 range require a salary in excess of $50,000 a year.

“Some of the things I have noted as we delved into this housing situation a little bit is that many of our teachers and public safety workers and other workers, even people that work for the city, can’t find housing in Westfield,” he said. “As we continue to grow and as we continue to attract more businesses, employees are critical to those businesses. We are certainly offering housing, but we are not offering what I would call workforce housing.”

Amenities within the proposal include a fitness trail with fitness stations, a picnic shelter, a community fire pit and a playground. The development would provide housing for first-time home buyers, empty-nesters who are looking to downsize and others.

After the presentation, Hoover suggested the developers look into adding a swimming pool. The public hearing for the development is scheduled for the 7 p.m. Oct. 1 Advisory Plan Commission meeting at Westfield City Hall, 130 Penn St.

For more, visit westfield.in.gov.

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