EPA, HUD, DOT and City of Gary Kick Off Partnership for Sustainable Communities Redevelopment Initiative

2013-07-23T14:37:00Z EPA, HUD, DOT and City of Gary Kick Off Partnership for Sustainable Communities Redevelopment InitiativeChelsea Whittington | Director of Communications for the City of Gary nwitimes.com

GARY | Leaders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation today joined Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, Indiana, to announce a new redevelopment initiative to revitalize four city neighborhoods. They are the Horace Mann, Downtown/Emerson, Aetna and Miller neighborhoods on the city’s north side.

“I am pleased to announce that the City of Gary has been selected for a $350,000 U.S. EPA grant to establish a revolving loan fund that will be used to clean up contamination at brownfield sites in Northside neighborhoods,” EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman said. “The work we are starting here today -- through the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities -- will be good for the environment, good for the economy and good for Gary.”

The federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, EPA, HUD and DOT, along with other federal and state agencies, will work with the city and private foundations to identify additional resources needed for the Gary Northside Redevelopment Project to move forward.

“The interest that all of these federal agencies have taken in the city of Gary is both exciting and humbling,” Mayor Freeman-Wilson said. “We will continue to work with these entities as they look to invest in various neighborhoods throughout the city, ultimately leading to the rejuvenation of Gary’s economy.”

“Eighteen months ago, HUD convened a meeting of eight Federal Agencies to align our resources and join state and regional partners in a super effort to identify available resources and innovative strategies to support Mayor Freeman-Wilson and the development of sustainable solutions for Gary and Northwest Indiana,” Antonio R. Riley, HUD Regional Administrator said. “Today, we join together to continue the progress of that first meeting and many that followed in helping Gary achieve the future it deserves -- this shows the progress that can be made when a region and partners from all sectors act as one.”

“I appreciate Mayor Freeman-Wilson’s vision in initiating this project, and her constant efforts to leverage every available resource to improve the quality of life for Gary’s citizens,” U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky said. “This collaborative project between the city of Gary and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities will strengthen not only Gary but all of Northwest Indiana. I look forward to the progress of the Gary Northside Redevelopment Project, and I anticipate working with her and our agency partners to turn this vision into reality.”

Today’s federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities event in Gary included a tour of the Horace Mann, Downtown/Emerson, Aetna and Miller neighborhoods and discussions on transportation, housing and neighborhood stabilization, environment and brownfields, and public health.

For more information on the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, go to http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/.

More information on EPA’s brownfields program, go to http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/.

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