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An East Chicago senior housing project will benefit from a loan that helps cleanup brownfield sites.

MERRILLVILLE — The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority approved an Environmental Protection Agency-funded loan Thursday that will help with cleanup of an East Chicago site planned to become a senior housing center.

The RDA oversees a Northwest Indiana Brownfields Coalition loan program that will provide up to $650,000 for cleanup of the property at Main and Guthrie streets in East Chicago. A partnership between the East Chicago Housing Authority and DTM Real Estate Services intends a 206-unit senior housing development on the former Carson Manor property, under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Rental Assistance Demonstration program. The project has an estimated cost of nearly $40 million.

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RDA board member Milton Reed, who represents East Chicago, said three-quarters of the property is contaminated with residual chemicals from a dry cleaner. He said the loan was necessary for the housing project.

"The dollars are very tight," Reed said. "This is critically necessary."

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Assistant Deputy Editor

Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.