Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gary, Indiana: The Mayor's Dollar Home Program

A Chance to Own a Home for $1 in a City on the Ropes. (The New York Times, 8/14/2013)

Excerpt: Officials say that a third of the houses in Gary are unoccupied, hollowed dwellings spread across a city that, like other former industrial powerhouses, has lost more than half its population in the last half-century. 

While some of those homes will be demolished, Gary is exploring a more affordable way to lift its haggard tax base and reduce the excess of empty structures: sell them for $1.

Gary Works (United States Steel Corporation)


Gerard said...

But the house for a buck then move it to your free plot in Marquette, KS.

Anonymous said...

The Truth About the Mayor's Dollar House Program:

Out of the City of Gary's overblown real estate portfolio, out of all 10,000 properties held by the City, there was not one home that would have qualified for this program.

The Mayor made campaign promises to bring back the dollar-house program. But after she got elected, she soon found out that the City didn't have any residential properties that would qualify for this program--the program she promised everyone she would bring back. So what does she do? She has city employees on city time go to tax sales at the County to buy tax certificates on properties owned by Gary residents that were behind on their property taxes. She used city money to buy these tax certificates. Then the city had to pay attorneys to process the tax certificates. Gee, I wonder what law firm she used? Or did she have the city's law department do this work.

Whoever, did the work, it was all funded by taxpayers.

These particular 13 properties, the first round, were not all abandoned properties. I drove by each and every one of them after I heard about the city implementing this idiotic plan. Seven of the 13 were still occupied. There were children playing in the front yards of several of them. So to implement her program, the first round of this program, to fulfill her campaign promise, she had to put six families of Gary residents on the street. I thought that the whole idea of this program was to get Gary residents OFF of the street and into homes of their own. But Karen Freeman-Wilson's implementation seems to be working in reverse. She must first evict Gary residents from these homes, just so that she can put different Gary residents into the same homes.

This has got to be the stupidest thing that I have seen so far (and it was up against some very stiff competition!).

There is a story in both local papers talking about this like it is the best thing since sliced bread. Obviously, neither of these reporters took the time to look beyond the Mayor's sound bites. This is a horrible program. It is destructive, not constructive.

Those same children are no longer playing in any of these front yards. Who knows where they are now, but they are no longer in their homes. The City of Gary under the direction of this mayor forced them out of their homes .