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Twelve homes in Gary, Indiana, to be sold for $1 each

By Berit Griffin August 23, 2013

What if you could buy a home for $1?

Twelve people from the city of Gary, Ind., will soon get the chance as part of an innovative approach to stabilize a struggling neighborhood in the University Park section. The city purchased the homes at county tax sales after the owners were unable to pay property taxes.

More than 400 Gary residents expressed interested in purchasing the dollar homes when the program was announced in June. However, only 25 people met guidelines set forth by the city, which requires buyers to:

  • Have lived in Gary for at least six months
  • Have $1,000 in savings
  • Earn at least 80 percent of the median annual income of $35,250 in the area
  • Demonstrate that they have the financial ability to rehabilitate the home

According to CNN Money, “The program is open only to those who do not currently own a home, and they must occupy the house for five years before they assume full ownership. If they leave before that, they forfeit everything.”

We admire the city’s creative approach to rescuing a declining neighborhood. If the program succeeds, it may be considered to stabilize other at-risk neighborhoods around the country.