A new survey conducted by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute shows 85% of local elected officials are optimistic about their communities’ future. However, officials also reported concerns, including drug abuse, internet access, economic inequality, and affordable housing.
According to the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations Survey, two-thirds of officials identified overall economic conditions as a major or moderate problem, and nearly one-third said conditions had worsened during the past year. Two-thirds also reported that economic inequality was a major or moderate issue.
The survey found that a lack of affordable housing was also a critical challenge in 2020, with 74% of respondents listing it as a major or moderate issue. Local leaders selected affordable housing most often as their top priority to address during the next two years.
Internet connectivity was also a major concern, according to the survey. More than two-thirds of local leaders said both having high-speed internet and broadband service and having reliable, affordable service were problems in their communities. Addressing internet access was listed among the top five priority issues for communities to address in the next two years.
Drug abuse remains a significant problem. Ninety-four percent of local officials listed it as a major or moderate problem in their community.
IU says the survey helps the IACIR and the Indiana General Assembly better understand the wide array of challenges local governments face. You can connect to the full survey results by clicking here.