Gary hopes $1 home program revitalizes community - Dallas News |

Deadline approaching for Gary`s $1 Home Program

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Are you eligible for the Dollar Home Program? See the requirements and get more details here.

One dozen dollar homes are up for grabs in Gary, Indiana as part of a program to boost the city's depressed areas.

The deadline to apply is less than 24 hours away and this is far from a giveaway. The homes need some major work, but for anyone who's up for the challenge it could be the chance of a lifetime to be a homeowner for $1.

On a beautiful tree-lined street in Gary, there's no dispute one house sticks out like a sore thumb. There's blue tarp on the roof, weeds growing from the gutters, an unkempt lawn and a frayed front door - but the property cost less than a gallon of milk.

"Yes, this one does [need a lot of work] but it's still nice, it's a nice home," Felicia Goodman says.

Goodman is one of 400 applicants vying to purchase the vacant home or one similar for $1. The home is one of 12 houses being sold under the city's Dollar Home Program. The deadline to apply is Friday at 5pm.

Community Development Department Director Arlene Colvin says people are "hungry" to purchase properties in the housing-ravaged city.

"I just didn't want to be locked in a 30 year, having to owe for 30 years so when this program came up it was a great opportunity," she explains.

Goodman has worked as an airline reservation agent for 20 years and leased a two-bedroom apartment in Gary for 13 years. She says she's outgrown that home.

The dollar home in University Park has four bedrooms and one bathroom. It's valued between $56,000 and $89,000.

It's a golden opportunity that Gary's Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson took advantage of herself decades ago when she purchased her first home through the city's Dollar Home Program.

So, what do you need to do to qualify?

"You must be a resident of Gary, must be at least 18 years old, must have at least $1,000 in a savings account or some sort of banking account," Colvin explains.

Most of the dollar homes need between $10,000 and $30,000 in rehab, but Felicia Goodman believes it's a small price to pay for her piece of the American dream.

"The reason why I know I'm going to get picked is because I have faith and I dreamed of the house that I want," says Goodman.

The city will hold a lottery in September to determine the winners. The winners must live in the home, attend a homeowner's class and bring the property up to code within six months.

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