IACED Unveils 2016 Legislative Agenda

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The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development has outlined its legislative agenda for 2016. The organization lists affordable rental housing, foreclosure prevention and mitigation and increasing the minimum wage among its top priorities.

The IACED says preserving and expanding Indiana's affordable rental housing stock is essential to stabilizing communities, especially following the foreclosure crisis. It says affordable rental housing not only serves vulnerable citizens in the community but also attracts top talent.

The organization also plans to champion legislation to ensure a fair foreclosure process for borrowers but also provide housing counseling in order to enable Hoosiers to maintain their investment and avoid foreclosure.

"A prosperous Indiana is one where upward mobility starts with meeting basic needs, leads to economic opportunity, and builds family assets," the organization says. "Assets are converted to private and public wealth to seed vibrancy, opportunity, and sustainability for those who live or are attracted to these great places. Achieving this prosperous quality of life requires holistic policies which connect human, workforce, and community development efforts with strategies to grow local economies through investment in sustainable businesses and industry sectors."

The IACED says it also hopes to encourage the adoption of a higher minimum wage in Indiana. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, though the organization cites a Massachusetts Institute of Technology report which says a person must earn a minimum of $17.91 per hour in order to live above the poverty line in Indiana in a family of two adults and two children.

"Because the federal minimum wage is $7.25, many parents in Indiana households must work two and three jobs to make ends meet, losing critical time with children; if they cannot work those jobs, they become reliant on assistance programs," says the IACED. "Increasing the minimum wage makes sense to bolster Indiana communities and reflect core Hoosier values."

Click here to view the IACED's complete 2016 agenda.

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