Gary, Indiana, Offers Homes for a Dollar

Detroit is not the only industrial city seeing hard times and vacant homes. Gary, Indiana, has 10,000 abandoned and unoccupied houses, which attract vandals and bring property values down. But a pilot program hopes to lure new families into the old neighborhoods. Initially, twelve homes in one neighborhood are being offered for the price of one dollar. There are some requirements. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson explained:

"Essentially what we do is give those houses out through a lottery process. People have to qualify, families have to qualify through income, through the ability to fix up the homes, because these homes have been abandoned and so they do need some work – anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000 worth of work," Freeman-Wilson said in an interview with CBC's Lang O'Leary Exchange.

The benefit would be that the new homeowners would pay taxes, remove the homes from the city’s list of derelict buildings, and improve the character of the neighbourhoods where they settle, Freeman-Wilson said.

Another requirement is that the buyer live in the home for five years, so if you don't already have a job in the area, you probably would not meet the income requirement. Link  -via Holy Kaw!

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The city has more than twice the national crime average. Get ride of the criminals and people will live there. People do not want to live in high crime areas, period.
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Pretty much. Everyone worked in the mills and when they fell under due to forgein competition everything collapsed. Changed the whole dynamic of "The Region." It's a complex issue with a lot of state and national politics involved. It was a very quick decline too.
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Most of those houses are in deplorable condition. The neighborhoods aren't good either unfortunately. Gary does desperately need the tax revenue. Problem is, people who can afford $25-50k worth of house (repairs) don't want to be there in the first place, otherwise they would already be living in Gary. It's a very sad example of the decline of American industry and the effects of "white flight." Some areas of the city are starting to reap the benefits of what has been a slow revival process. Those areas are small and in the case of the Miller Beach area have always had some success even inspite of the declines. Gary COULD be a great place to live but it's going to take a long time to rehabilitate the city. Personally, I fear that this has started the beginnings of gentrification in the area. Northwest Indiana is infamous for people running away from one area because of what, I begrudgingly admit, are closed minded ideas. This usually causes a domino effect in the area. Until people here start accepting other people's differences, stop blaming each other for what is an area wide problem and start taking personal responsibility, I don't see much changing. It could be a great city again and I hope I get to see that happen in my lifetime.
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