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INDIANAPOLIS — The Gary Housing Authority is getting the largest share of $22.5 million in federal funding allotted to 41 Indiana public housing authorities to improve its properties.

The grants are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

According to local officials, the money is allocated annually to help preserve public housing. The federal government also provides separate funding for operations and routine maintenance of the facility.

The troubled Gary Housing Authority, which is in receivership, is scheduled to receive $3,545,400. The housing authority in East Chicago will receive $1,300,198; the one in Hammond, $758,152, and the one in Michigan City, $207,396.

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The biggest project to be funded with the money in Hammond will be for an on-demand hot water systems at the Turner Park development of 80 town homes, according to the Hammond Housing Authority Executive Director Carmen Paniagua. The new energy efficient systems will save the housing authority money over time, according to Paniagua. She said the housing authority has also made the changes at the other developments it controls in the city.

The grants are provided through HUD's Capital Fund Program, which offers such annual funding to about 3,100 public housing authorities nationwide to build, repair, renovate and modernize the public housing in their communities.

Unlike routine maintenance, capital needs are extensive improvements "required to make the housing decent and economically sustainable, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency," according to a release from the federal agency.

A new executive director, Julian Marsh, was appointed in Gary last June following a nationwide search by the Gary Housing Authority Board. The board is controlled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The local housing authority and HUD entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement in 2013.  

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