30 vacant Gary homes face demolition, forum Monday - New York News

30 vacant Gary homes face demolition, forum Monday

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GARY, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Homeowner Willie Fullilove smiled broadly as he learned the dilapidated bluish-green house next door would soon be demolished.

Fullilove couldn't remember how long the burned-out house at 673 DeKalb St. in the Glen Ryan subdivision had been vacant. "I'm elated to have it knocked down," he said.

The house is part of the latest wave of demolition in the city, but the number of abandoned homes is still huge. The city estimates it has nearly 10,000 abandoned homes, mostly in the Midtown, Aetna and Glen Park neighborhoods, the Post-Tribune is reporting.

On Monday, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, state Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, and state Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, will discuss the problem of blighted, abandoned houses in a 6 p.m. forum at the YWCA of Northwest Indiana, 150 W. 15th Ave.

It's part of a series of forums across the state coordinated by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Indiana has the highest percentage of abandoned foreclosed homes in the country. RealtyTrac and 24/7 Wall Street report about 30 percent of Indiana's foreclosed homes are abandoned.

Indiana received more than $221 million from the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. The state is exploring the use of a portion of the Hardest Hit Funds to demolish blighted and abandoned homes that are beyond repair. The goal is to stabilize property values in Indiana communities.

On Wednesday, Gary's Redevelopment Commission approved the demolition of 30 houses scattered across the city paid for by more than $200,000 in federal Community Development grant funding.

Meanwhile, the Redevelopment Commission awarded demolition contracts for 30 houses last week, including the house next to Fullilove.

The demolition cost, which totals more than $200,000, comes from federal Community Development Department grant money, said Joseph Van Dyk, director of the Redevelopment Department.

He said the houses should be torn down by the end of the year.

Houses approved for demolition:

--3655 Tyler St.

--741 Connecticutt St.

--2357 Monroe St.

--1321 Dearborn St.

--216 E. 43rd AVe.

--2604 Massachusetts St.

--2608 Massachusetts St.

--4923 E. 10th Ave.

--601 Dearborn St.

--633 DeKalb St.

--640 DeKalb St.

--673 DeKalb St.

--1121 E. 7th Ave.

--370-72 Buchanan St.

--456-58 Buchanan St.

--378 Polk St.

--556 Connecticut St.

--637 Virginia St.

--659 Virginia St.

--710 Virginia St.

--1177 Fillmore St.

--4076 Jackson St.

--2452 Johnson St.

--5011-15 Kentucky St.

--556 Monroe St.

--552 Monroe St.

--1272 W. 17th Ave.

--1270 W. 17th Ave.

--1101 E. 48th Place

--1041 E. 48th Place

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