Hundreds of vacant homes coming down

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    MAYOR KAREN FREEMAN-WILSON holds a ceremonial check from HUD. Pictured from l-r: HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph Galvin, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Gary Housing Authority Executive Director Julian Marsh, and Jillian Baldwin, GHA deputy executive director. (Photo by Keith Chambers)

    Gary Housing Authority receives $3.2M to demolish 252 home

    Crusader staff report

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, March 23, announced a $3.2 million award that will be used to demolish 252 vacant homes in the Delaney West and Concord Village complexes.

    The award was a much needed boost for Gary and the city’s housing authority. Both have struggled to come up with funds that are needed to demolish structures that have been vacant for years with boarded up windows and crumbling bricks.

    The award is the largest since 2010 when the Gary Housing Authority demolished 316 units in 103 buildings at Ivanhoe Gardens, 3200 W. 11th Ave., came down with federal stimulus money.

    The latest $3.2 million award was announced during a press conference at City Hall on Monday, where Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph Galvin and Gary Housing Authority Executive Director Julian Marsh.

    GHA deputy executive director Jillian Baldwin said some 227 units will be demolished in the Delaney town homes at 21st Avenue and Pierce Street. An additional 27 unit will be torn down at Concord Village, 5001 W. 19th Ave., Baldwin said.

    Marsh said the demolition could begin in three to four months.

    “We are grateful and we will be not only good stewards, but this will allow us drive development and investment in that community, “said Freeman-Wilson.

    The GHA has plans to tear down about 450 units. Galvin, said “the grant will provide the Gary Housing Authority a new resource to provide community safety,” he said.

    Freeman-Wilson said the area will likely become green space once the homes are demolished. She said the city has already spent about $4 million of an $11 million federal grant to demolish between 700 and 1,000 houses. “We believe another 4,000 are worthy of demolition – commercial and residential,” she said.

     

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