Forgotten Neighborhoods . . .

30 Oct

by Ken Davidson


The Topic was to be abandoned homes and what to do about them, but when the question and answer session began,  one term was used repeatedly: forgotten neighborhoods.   Several Gary residents, from nearly all sections of the City, got up and referred to their area as forgotten.  The descriptions that followed detailed a complete breakdown in the provision of city services.

One resident stated she was a lifelong Gary resident and had no desire to move.  She stated she had bought several other properties near her Ralston Avenue home because they were abandoned and she just wanted to maintain them.  “I don’t know how much more I can do” she stated with frustration after describing sidewalks that children could not walk down because of overgrown weeds.

The problems were echoed by residents from Tarrytown, Glen Park, West Side, Aetna, Small Farms, Black Oak and Horace Mann.  A Glen Park woman described how nice her neighborhood once was.  She described a block of abandoned homes and overgrown vacant lots.

But there was no buck stopping anywhere near Earline Rogers or Karen Freeman-Wilson.  The politicians pointed fingers everywhere but at themselves.  Earline Rogers said only two sentences;  in one she referred to Indianapolis as the “Hoosier Holyland.”  Mayor Freeman-Wilson pointed to the foreclosure crisis, out-of-state landlords,  and general economic conditions as root causes of the problems in Gary.  Although selective code enforcement was cited as a tool to be utilized to gain title to the abandoned homes which are not owned by the City, no one  was willing to address the numerous complaints of lack of basic city services including code enforcement and police protection.  The Mayor did state that they know where all of the abandoned homes are located.

To his credit, Lake County Treasurer John Petalas was the only County official to show at the meeting.  The County Treasurer and Auditor’s office have as much to do with the abandoned housing crisis in Gary as anyone else.  That folks, is the teaser for the next article.

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7 Responses to “Forgotten Neighborhoods . . .”

  1. Vicky Black October 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    where is all the money the city received from insurances and the state ?

  2. Me October 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I’m with Vicky. Where does all that money go?

  3. Anonymous October 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    why cant they sell these properties to people for a small fee and limit them reasonable time to fix them up . then they can recieve the property taxes off them then everybody is more to the good, its always take from the little guy and soon this is what you end up with .

  4. Vicky Black October 31, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    I suggested they give them away as long as they pay taxes…better then paying to tear them down

  5. Anonymous November 1, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    Gary is not the only NWI city which has forgotten its residents. Hammond’s Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr seems to find money to give to private contractors, helping a radio station relocate, but what about a city and its people?

  6. Anonymous November 2, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    So millions to demolish homes and no a single cent or thought on what to do stabilize legacy communities. Typical of the politicians who created the problem. Instead of tearing down places we need to reuse them. Either mothball, stabilize, deconstruct, or rehabilitate. But instead the Holyland Hoosier Heroine and the Queen of Gary Gary Graft are now concocting ways to pay their political campaign contributors….the contractors, demolition companies, and environmental companies who supported them financially are expecting a return on their investment. Instead of revitalizing Gary, there is revitalization of lined pockets!!


  1. Abandoned Homes or Abandoned Homeowners? | The Northwest Indiana Gazette - November 1, 2013

    […] vacant homes in Gary. We examined the lack of city services in a prior article (you can read that Here ). Lets talk about the taxation issues and how they cause homeowners to flee the […]

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