Gary has nowhere near the debt of bankrupt Detroit

City Hall in Gary.

Jonathan Miano, The Times

GARY — Hundreds of Gary apartment dwellers may have to find new residences with the conversion of two complexes to affordable housing units.

Merchants Affordable Housing Corp., which assumed operation of the Concord Commons and Woodlake Village, acknowledged better notice could have been given to residents about the change.

LaLosa Burns, a spokeswoman for Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, said the mayor is aware of the situation and was planning to meet with the new owners of both complexes.

Janine Betsey, the executive director of the corporation, said they are letting go of the property management company she said was responsible for notifying the tenants. 

The tenants who will be required to leave do not meet income guidelines under the federal government's Section 42 program. The corporation used the program to acquire and make renovations at the facility.

Concord Commons is on the east side of Burr Street, north of 21st Avenue. It has 10 apartment buildings plus some townhomes. Woodlake Village consists of about 18 apartment buildings north of U.S. 20 (Melton Road) and west of South County Line Road. The two complexes have 852 apartments combined.

According to Betsey, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of Concord Commons residents and a somewhat smaller percentage of Woodlake Village residents have an income that exceeds the threshold to live at the apartments and may be required to move out.

She said the residents will not be required to leave prior to the end of their existing lease and will allow them to stay at the apartments on a month-to-month basis until they can locate replacement housing.

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Ed has been with The Times since January 2014. He previously covered government affairs for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Florida. Prior to Scripps, he was with the Chicago Regional Bureau of Copley News Service.