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House approves housing infrastructure loan fund, with funding still to come

House lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday aimed at lowering the cost of new housing.

The bill, HB 1005, would create a loan fund that local governments can access to pay for infrastructure for new housing – things like roads and sidewalks and water, sewer, gas and electric lines.

Some builders say those infrastructure costs add as much as $57,000 to every new home.

READ MORE: Bill aimed at making new housing more affordable clears first legislative committee

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Rep. Doug Miller (R-Elkhart) said the bill prioritizes loan requests for municipalities that have voluntarily relaxed some local rules. That includes restrictions on housing density, architectural standards, garage size and off-street parking.

“If they chose not to do some of those things, they would still be eligible for money – perhaps just not as much as they applied for,” Miller said.

The bill also requires that 70 percent of the loan fund go to communities of less than 50,000 people.

The funding for this bill will be part of the state budget debate.

The measure now heads to the Senate.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.