Indiana Housing Agency to Host Forum on Abandoned Homes

23 Oct
Gazette Staff

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and a group of bi-partisan elected officials including Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and State Senator Earline Rogers will host a public forum to address blighted, vacant and abandoned homes.  The forum will be held October 28, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend.
Public forum to be held October 28, 2013 at 6 p.m. in Gary.  The event will be held at the YWCA of Northwest Indiana, 150 West 15th Avenue, Gary, Ind.

The Hardest Hit Fund is a national program available in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Indiana was awarded more than $221 million under the Hardest Hit Fund and is targeting low- to moderate-income homeowners whose primary residence is in any county in Indiana. The State of Indiana, through IHCDA, 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 not simply to demolish abandoned homes, but to stabilize property values in Indiana communities. The proposed partnership between IHCDA and Indiana municipalities would allow communities to demolish blighted properties and offer a variety of end uses for the newly cleared properties including green space and redevelopment. IHCDA, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, IHCDA's Board Chair, Mayor Freeman-Wilson, Senator Rogers and Senator Merritt believe that the demolition of abandoned and blighted homes would be a significant step toward rebuilding Hoosier communities. Since IHCDA's announcement that it was exploring the use of Hardest Hit Funds to eliminate blighted and abandoned properties, many have expressed concern that doing so might detract from the mission of helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. IHCDA would like to reassure the public that it is committed to using the majority of Hardest Hit Funds to help individual homeowners in need. As of September 30, 2013, more than 2,250 homeowners have received approximately $24 million in Hardest Hit Fund mortgage payment assistance; and another $49 million has been set aside to provide mortgage payment assistance to approved homeowners currently enrolled in the program.
If you are unable to attend the public hearings, please submit written comments to<> by Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.

2 Responses to “Indiana Housing Agency to Host Forum on Abandoned Homes”

  1. Anonymous October 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    In Hammond, Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., used HUD funds to rehabilitate 537 Hoffman St. The property had extensive renovations, but never found someone to move into it. The quality of work appeared suspect. HUD Inspector General penned a scathing report which suspended and disbarred Hammond’s participation in the program.

    It appears McDermott used Federal Funds to reward specific contractors.

  2. Josh Jackson via Facebook October 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Really….Demolish houses to lessen AV and shift financial responsibility to other arms of government instead of finding ways to attract population back to the City? Typical. Create jobs for political funders instead of developing policy to restore and revitalize. Many homes can be deconstructed and rebuilt. Insane that there are NEVER any proactive policies. We need to stop this madness and get the City, County, and State Administrations to see that they are a major part of the flight and shifting socio-economics in our area.

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