GARY — The local housing authority has been awarded an $8.66 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to tear down three aging complexes.
Taryl Bonds, deputy executive director for the Gary Housing Authority, said the agency will demolish:
- Gary Manor, 24 units, 1200 Madison St.
- Dorie Miller Homes, 268 units, 1722 E. 21st Ave.
- Delaney Community East, 291 units, along Harrison Street near the shuttered, historic Gary Roosevelt High School
Only two other housing authorities across the country received capital funding grants through HUD's Emergency/Disaster and Safety and Security Program, according to a news release.
Alexander County Housing Authority in Cairo, Illinois received nearly $1.28 million and the New York City Housing Authority received just over $24.7 million.
The GHA will use some of its grant funds to repair the roof at Genesis Towers, 578 Broadway.
All projects will be subject to federal procurement guidelines, meaning they must be publicized and competitively bid, Bonds said.
It is estimated that one in five buildings is vacant and two in five buildings are blighted in Gary.
Bonds said the GHA will put the funds to good use.
"This will be used to prevent the continuation of blight. Because we know what happens around here, with our blighted, abandoned buildings," Bonds said.
Over the years, the authority's numerous vacant housing complexes, such as Delaney West and Concord Village that were torn down in 2018, have been plagued by illegal trespassing, vandalism, graffiti and other crime.
The eventual teardowns of these properties are part of a national shift away from high-rises and clusters of poverty and low-income public housing.
Gary Manor is vacant. GHA and HUD are working to relocate residents from Dorie Miller and Delaney East with relocation vouchers.
When relocation began this summer, Delaney had 155 families in occupied units and Dorie Miller had 101. At the end of December, Bonds said Delaney had about 120 and Dorie Miller was down to 43.
Last year, GHA contracted with someone to assist families with the search for alternative housing through federally funded tenant protection vouchers.
No timeline has been provided for the demolition of the properties.
Authorities must be in federal receivership to be eligible for the capital grants, Bonds and HUD have said.
Since 2013, GHA has been under the control of the federal HUD agency, through a cooperative agreement, due to years of money mismanagement, poor building conditions and other challenges.
Bonds said they received notification from HUD in fall 2020 that they were no longer categorized as a troubled agency.
As of January, the authority's board was still considered advisory in nature. While the board can make recommendations, HUD has final say over local matters.
HUD is now assessing the Gary Housing Authority to release authority back to local control, Bonds said.