One of the things that makes a community strong and vibrant is the availability of a wide range of housing opportunities. In order to improve the quality of our current housing stock and to make homeownership more accessible to citizens, the City of Fort Wayne is partnering with private sector and not-for-profit agencies to develop a Comprehensive Housing Strategy.
Reversing the cycle of disinvestment and decay requires that we create attractive opportunities to leverage private investment. The strategy will include recommendations for promoting housing in urban neighborhoods as well as programs that increase the amount and quality of housing that is affordable to more of our citizens.
Partners in the project include; the United Way of Allen County, the Urban Enterprise Association, the Fort Wayne Housing Authority, National City Bank, Fannie Mae, the Homebuilders Association and Fort Wayne Area Association of Realtors. Representatives from each of these partners as well as from City Council, the Ministerial Alliance and Tower Bank make up the Steering Committee that will oversee the work of the consultants chosen for the project.
The consultants chosen by the Housing Strategy Steering Committee were Wallace Roberts and Todd (WRT), a planning and architectural design firm from Philadelphia. WRT will guide the community through a six-month process that will explore community needs, sales trends, construction trends, financing tools and other components of the housing market.
The Housing Strategy will: describe activities and programs that the City can implement as a way to encourage increased housing development activity in Fort Wayne neighborhoods; make recommendations for creating new community partnerships as well as strengthening the ones that are working today; reflect the needs of Fort Wayne citizens while embracing the innovative ideas from across the country with respect to resolving housing and community development issues; and create an action plan for the implementation of the vision we create together.
The resulting plan will come from considerable public input received through interviews, focus groups, and public meetings. Community meetings are preliminarily scheduled for October and all interested citizens are encouraged to participate.