- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

GARY, Ind. (AP) - After using federal money to demolish nearly 200 buildings, Gary officials say they hope the community will receive even more federal dollars to pay for the mammoth task of tearing down some of the thousands of vacant and blighted structures that line the streets.

Gary may ultimately be able to tear down more than 500 structures with the initial $6.6 million in federal money it was authorized to receive from the Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program, according to Joseph van Dyk, executive director of planning and redevelopment for Gary. Since 2014, the city has used the money to demolish 183 structures, and 32 are in the process of being torn down, The (Munster) Times (https://bit.ly/1PvO1k8 ) reports.

But a survey last February revealed that the city had more than 6,700 vacant structures and thousands more considered blighted, meaning that when the 500 structures are town down the job will be far from over.

Recently Congress authorized another $2 billion for the program. Gary, like many other communities around the country, is waiting to see how much more money it might receive.

Mark Neyland, director of asset preservation for the state’s Housing and Community Development authority, said the U.S. Department of the Treasury will apportion that money to the states. He said he does not know when that decision will be made, but once it does, the state will then determine how the money will be spent, and how much Gary might receive.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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