Dollar Home Project

Earlier today, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Community Development Director Arlene Colvin outlined the guidelines for the City’s updated version of the Dollar Home Program. Known for its wide appeal in the 1980s and 90s, the Dollar Home Program was developed by HUD to combat home abandonment in communities, assist new home-buyers and elevate the property value of neighboring homes.

Freeman-Wilson began the press conference by sharing a personal story of how her first home was purchased through the Dollar Home Program about 25 years ago.

“I still own that home and remember clearly how helpful the Dollar Home program was in helping me acquire my first home,” Freeman-Wilson. “We are excited to be able to reintroduce this program to Gary residents and look forward to it being another way that we beautify our neighborhoods.”

The Dollar House Program will launch with 13 homes located in the University Park area near Indiana University Northwest. Interested Gary residents may begin picking up applications June 7th at 839 Broadway, Suite 302 North. Applicants must come in person between 8:30a.m. – 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday, and the submission deadline is July 12th.

“This program is not a part of HUD,” explained Colvin. “This is a new program that is being run by the City of Gary because we want to help our citizens find affordable housing.”

Details about the Dollar House Program are listed in the fact sheet below and can also be found at the City of Gary website at For more information, citizens can also call the Community Development Department at (219) 881-5075.


What is the Dollar Home Program?

 Under the Dollar Home Program, a home is awarded by drawing to an eligible participant for one dollar upon the condition that if the home is brought up to city building codes within six months and the participant resides in the home for a period of five years, at the end of that five year period, the participant will receive complete ownership of the home.

Arlene Colvin at Press Conference

Who is eligible to participate in the program?

 To be eligible to participate in the program, you must:

 1. be at least eighteen (18) years of age;

 2. be a Gary resident for at least six (6) months;

 3. NOT be a current homeowner;

 4. meet 80% of area median income standards;

 5. have at least $1,000 in a savings account;

 6. be able to demonstrate that you have the financial ability to rehabilitate a home.

What is the process for participating in the program? What are important dates to remember?

 Persons interested in participating in the program may obtain an application package at the Community Development Department, 839 Broadway, Suite 302 N. Applications will be distributed beginning June 7, 2013. The deadline for submitting applications is July 12, 2013.

How many homes are available under the program?  13

Where are the homes located?  The University Park neighborhood.

Will participants be able to see the properties before they are awarded? How will the properties distributed?   All qualified applicants shall participate in an open house to inspect all properties. Each applicant will be allowed to designate three preferences. Participants shall be assigned a number which shall be utilized in a random drawing process. At the drawing, as each participant’s number is drawn, a home shall be awarded to that person from among those previously selected. This process will be followed until all participant numbers.


See what current things Mayor Freeman-Wilson is doing concerning the Dollar Home Program

See Video Below:

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