"Home Sweet Home" is the old adage, but the sweetness can turn sour as homes age and neighborhoods transform. Co-Founder at Urban Patch, Joyce Moore, and her family, are striving to revitalize those parts of Indy's inner cities, that have been touched by Father Time; through methods other than gentrification. Gentrification is a real threat to many and is not hard to spot within the ever expanding region of central Indiana. Moore highlights the issue in Indianapolis and Urban Patch's current efforts. The Moores started Urban Patch by purchasing an abandoned house with a credit card. Since then, they have fixed up the home and dozens of other homes and buildings. As reported in the Indianapolis Monthly publication, "...since they reinvest profits and don't take salaries, the Moores are flexible to re imagine vacant spaces, which in 2012 won the group a Heroes in Our Backyards award from a national civic crowdfund-er.".
Interview recorded on July 12, 2017.
Bennett: So that same article, NUVO, says yes...some Indianapolis neighborhoods are gentrifying, do you agree with that?
Moore: Yes, in the old tradition of the definition, it is. I think that what needs to happen is to redefine how gentrification occurs.
Bennett: What would be that definition, do you think?
Moore: Most people consider gentrification to be when people come in with higher incomes and develop a neighborhood where property values had gone down. They then move in and those that once lived there can no longer afford to live there anymore.
Bennett: What are the downsides to this?
Moore: The downside is that it doesn't include everyone. Services leave and you get a disenfranchised area. There needs to be a way to keep property values stable. Usually people of low income or people of color are not given the opportunity to invest in their homes becasue they cannot get loans, etc.
Bennett: So how does Urban Patch operate then?
Moore: The way we do it is to follow what happened back in the 40's and 50's with the Flanner House. They created these little, humble homes and vested in the neighborhoods they built in; that combined all levels of income. They provided up keep for the homes they built. We're modeling that. In Mapleton-Fall Creek we are buying homes that have been foreclosed or abandoned and rehabing them so that there will be affordable housing in the areas that are gentrifying; so that there will be multi-level incomes in the neighborhood.
Moore: We've been in our neighborhood for 40 years and it is gentrifying and I hear the "newbies" come in and talk about their improvements like alley clean-ups. Well, we've always had alley clean-ups but it wasn't perceived because no one was paying attention. Nothing has changed in the neighborhood except the influx of people with higher incomes.