GARY — City officials are hoping to expand on a program that allowed several hundred abandoned homes in the city to be demolished over the past two years.
The city’s redevelopment commission could end up knocking down nearly 700 vacant houses with the money received through the state’s Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program, according to Joseph Van Dyk, executive director of the city’s redevelopment and planning department.
That fund was primarily designed to help people facing mortgage foreclosures because of the downturn in the housing market. However, Indiana and some other states were authorized to use some of the money received earlier through the program to fight blight. The state decided to use about a third — or $75 million — of the $221 million for blight elimination.