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.