Northeast Indiana SDC Invests $10 Million in Regional Housing Strategy

FORT WAYNE, Ind., May 31, 2024 – The Northeast Indiana Strategic Development Commission (SDC) has announced a significant investment of $10 million to launch a comprehensive Regional Housing Strategy aimed at addressing housing needs and promoting population growth across the 11-county region.

The SDC’s ambitious five-year plan will enhance the housing infrastructure by adding new single-family and multi-family housing units and bolstering the development capacity within the region. This strategic initiative aligns with the SDC’s goal to increase population growth, wages, and credential attainment, thereby fostering a vibrant and thriving community.

“We are excited to introduce this innovative strategy that aligns with our mission to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life in Northeast Indiana,” said New Haven Mayor Steven McMichael, who chairs the SDC’s Housing Committee and had a 25-year career as a real estate broker prior to retiring from the industry when elected mayor. “The Regional Housing Strategy will provide the tools and expertise needed to catalyze housing developments, ensuring that our communities are equipped to meet the housing needs of both current and future residents.”

The Regional Housing Strategy includes several key tactics designed to support housing development:

  1. Vision for the Region: This involves updating the Regional Housing Strategy and creating new assets to serve as a foundation for a dynamic housing strategy and planning. A Housing Symposium will be held on September 12 to roll out the updated results and facilitate visioning workshops with key stakeholders.
  2. Setting Regional Benchmarks & Indicators: Conducting County Needs Assessments to identify and set performance benchmarks and indicators, which will be integrated into the Digital Twin to support decision-making processes.
  3. Bolstering Regional Housing Development Capacity: Establishing a Northeast Indiana Regional Housing Council to support the creation and rollout of a renewable certification for local housing optimizers and to authorize the Hoosier Homes Down Payment Assistance program.
  4. Marketing the Region’s Housing Pipeline: Engaging regional leaders through networking events, forums, and training sessions, and promoting development opportunities to intra- and extra-regional developers.


“Communities across the country are grappling with the challenge of providing workforce attainable housing as a key enabler of local workforce participation,” said Stéphane Frijia, President & CEO of NEI and member of the SDC’s Housing Committee. “By proactively addressing this issue, Northeast Indiana is already differentiating itself as a leader in sustainable development, making our region a more attractive destination for businesses and talent.”

Funding recommendations are made on a rolling basis, and interested parties are encouraged to submit project ideas through the SDC’s project intake portal at Detailed information on the initiative, including the updated housing study and upcoming events, is also available on the website.

“The real work starts now, as we begin to implement this comprehensive plan and see the tangible benefits of our efforts in the coming years,” added McMichael.

The Northeast Indiana Strategic Development Commission remains committed to leveraging state and regional resources to create a thriving, inclusive economy. The Regional Housing Strategy is a testament to this commitment, aiming to ensure a prosperous future for all residents.

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