Indiana cities to receive money to fight 'urban blight'

GARY, Ind. - Gary, Indianapolis and three other Indiana cities have received a total of roughly $15 million to help eliminate blighted and abandoned homes.

The other cities granted funds from the Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program are East Chicago and Hammond in northwest Indiana and the city of Lawrence in Marion County. The grants are the first round in a series of grants that will total $75 million.

Gary will receive $6.6 million of the initial amount. A team spent several months collecting data on blighted structures throughout the northwest Indiana city.

Besides demolishing vacant and abandoned homes and buildings, the federal program also provides loans to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Officials estimate about 4,000 blighted properties will be torn down across the state.

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