A small Indiana city, Gary endured hard times for decades. This city is now selling homes for as low as $1. Since 1960, the city has lost half of its population and almost a third of the city’s homes are abandoned or unoccupied.
Increasing Crime Levels
In the recent years, crime levels have increased and the level of education and employment has decreased.
The dilapidated schools including the local school district is being sold off, especially the ones that have dealt with arson and vandalism.
Despite the graffiti doors and crumbling walls of the school, the building is the last hope of the district for paying off the accumulated debt of $100 million.
Both Opportunity and Burden
The empty homes are considered both an opportunity and burden. In 2013, the abandoned properties were sold off in the city for as low as $1.
Only those who earned a minimum of $35,250 per annum and developed the home to “habitable standards” within a year would be eligible for purchasing these homes. After five years, the city would cede the ownership of the home.
In the beginning of the program, there were hundreds of applications as the applicants did not realize that extensive repairs need to be done.
It was reported by the community development department’s housing coordinator that the renovations would cost around $20,000-$30,000.
A dozen dollar homes are listed by the community development department on its website. Even though the houses require serious renovation, there is a lot of untapped potential.
The city was named after Elbert Henry Gary who is the US Steel Corporation’s founding chairman. Some surprising connections to Hollywood are still maintained.
Michael Jackson was born in this city. Several movies including “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” remake was also shot in this city.
Even though the city is located near Chicago, it is not easy to lure residents.