HFL City of La Porte Housing Initiative
Housing is one of the best researched social determinants of health – the non-medical factors that influence health and well-being. Without safe, affordable housing, the quality of life for residents is diminished.
In 2022, Healthcare Foundation of La Porte joined forces with the City of La Porte to embark on a new housing initiative to assess current and future housing needs in the City of La Porte. HFL contracted SB Friedman, a real estate development advisory firm based in Chicago, to conduct an in-depth study and then prepare a detailed housing strategy for the City.
The study, which began in summer 2022 and took about 6 months to complete, analyzed housing needs, housing-related issues, and the unique opportunities and challenges associated with La Porte City’s housing market. HFL and SB Friedman conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews with stakeholders, voices from across the City of La Porte, and across generations, to provide a full picture.
The initial housing study was funded by HFL, along with a contribution from Horizon Bank. HFL City of La Porte Housing Initiative Committee is chaired by HFL Board member Michele Magnuson.
Phase I: Housing Study
In 2020, there were 10,283 housing units in the City of La Porte. Those built since 1980 account for only 21% of La Porte's housing stock.
Approximately 62% of occupied housing units in the City of La Porte are owner-occupied, while 38% are renter occupied. Single-family detached united comprise 65% of the housing stock.
There are +1,000 more owner households over 12% AMI* than housing units affordable specifically to this group.
*AMI, or Area Median Income, is the midpoint of an area's income distribution - half of households in an area earn more than the median and half earn less. These metrics account for the size of the household and define the affordability of housng by income cohort.
There appears to be a need for a minimum of 750 rental housing units in the City of La Porte, due in large part to underproduction historically. These production targets would aim to address unmet housing needs for existing renters and expand the overall housing supply in the City.
There appears to be a need for a minimum of 900 for-sale housing units in the City of La Porte, due in part to underproduction historically.
Phase II: Notre Dame School of Architecture Charrette
A charrette is an intensive planning session where architects, citizens, and others collaborate to develop a design or vision for a project. HFL and the City of La Porte are welcoming a professional team from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture in May 2023 to conduct a charrette for the downtown area of the City of La Porte, specifically the neighborhoods surrounding Lincolnway.
To begin the charrette, stakeholders throughout the community -- residents, homeowners, landlords, business owners, realtors and more -- were invited to participate in Listening Sessions at the HFL Conference & Learning Center. Hosted by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture's Housing and Community Regeneration Initiative, these informal gatherings allowed a wide range of voices to be heard regarding the housing needs, concerns and issues in the downtown area from the people who live and work there.
Then, the team studied downtown and adjacent neighborhoods with a focus on creating a vibrant public realm as well as addressing critical housing needs. The goal of the exercise is to formulate a vision and implementation approach to preserve the heart of La Porte's historic center, making it a reliable place to work, live and invest.
After touring the city, the team met with City engineering and planning professionals, historic preservation, and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Three in-person public events were held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church School, 1101 Michigan Avenue, as well as two presentations available via Zoom.
The final presentations of the charrette were recorded in their entirety. View that video below.
Key areas of study
within the charrette
1. Truck traffic downtown
2. Downtown regeneration without displacement
3. Affordable housing for existing residents
4. Commonsense preservation
Explore the Indiana Housing Dashboard
The Indiana State Housing Dashboard is a centralized platform to
enable Indiana residents, local planners, elected officials, businesses,
and housing and real estate professionals to access data and information
about housing challenges and opportunities.
The website features information that can be searched by Indiana counties and cities, including data about
households by income
and more, including city by city comparisons and exportable reports