About Gary Housing Authority

In 1937, the Indiana General Assembly passed the Indiana Housing Authority Act wherein local governing bodies in each city, town, and county in the state of Indiana were authorized to create, and adopt by resolution, public bodies corporation to be known as housing authorities. The purpose of these housing authorities was to undertake slum clearance and to construct safe, decent, and sanitary dwelling accommodations for low-income citizens.

The Housing Authority of the City of Gary, Indiana (hereinafter referred to as the Gary Housing Authority) was brought into existence by the adoption of a resolution of the City of Gary Common Council on June 20, 1938 and was duly incorporated on July 8th, 1938. On November 30, 1938 of the same year, the first of four executive
 Directors, Kenneth A. Parmelee, was employed and on April 13, 1939 the Gary Housing Authority entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the City of Gary. The Cooperative Agreement provided that the city undertake certain assistance to the Gary Housing Authority by eliminating unsafe and unsanitary dwellings of a number of at least equal to the number of dwellings to be provided by the Gary Housing Authority. This agreement further provided that the Gary Housing Authority pay the city a sum to 3% of its income received from rents in lieu of taxes for city services. The payment was later increased to 10% in 1950.

The Gary Housing Authority’s policy making body is comprised of a one (1) member commission. The first members of the Board of Commissioners, appointed to office by Mayor L.B. Clayton on June 20, 1938, were: H.L. Replogle, McM. Coffing, John Radigan, Don Van Liew, and Jack Lazerwitz, Louise Peters, appointed in 1964, was the first female to serve on the Board of Commissioners. From 1938 to present, thirty-seven citizens have voluntarily given their time and effort to serve as housing commissioners for the Gary Housing Authority.

Shortly after its incorporation, The Gary Housing Authority began making plans for the construction of its first housing development, Delaney Community. Delaney Community was completed in 1940 and the first tenant occupied one of the 305 dwelling units on December 2’ of that year. By 1944, Ivanhoe Gardens and Duneland Village were completed and fully occupied. The cumulative cost for the three developments was $3,778,540.00, which averaged a cost of $4,801.20 per unit. The development of Delaney Community, Duneland Village, and Ivanhoe Gardens was financed primarily through a $3,303,000.00 bond issue sold to the Federal Housing Authority and private investors at a 2.50% and 2.11% interest rate, respectively. This method of development and financing is commonly known as the “conventional method.”

Other housing developments constructed in the 1950’s using the “conventional method” were Done Miller Homes and Delaney West, which collectively contained 500 dwelling units. The realization of these two housing developments brought the number of public housing units managed by the Gary Housing Authority to a total of 1,287. For the next thirteen years, the Gary Housing Authority added no dwelling units to its housing stock.

In 1966, the Gary Housing Authority acquired its first scattered-site/single-family dwelling units. These twenty-eight single-family homes were located on the east side of the Glen Park section of Gary.

The “conventional method” of development was abandoned in the late 1960’s when the Gary Housing Authority used the Turnkey II, Turnkey III, and Section 23 Leased Housing methods of development. Using these methods of development, 1,176 dwelling units were built between 1968 and 1981. When using both the Turnkey and Leased methods of development. Using these methods of development, independent contractors developed and
 constructed the housing then sold or leased the properties to the Gary Housing Authority By 1981 the Gary Housing Authority had boosted its housing stock to a total of 2 576 dwelling units using conventional Turnkey and Leased methods of development. No other units have been added since 1981.

The Section 8 Housing Assistance Program was introduced into the Gary Housing Authority in 1974. This program allowed families to rent housing on the private market while having their rent subsidized. The Gary Housing Authority functions as the administrator for the program which is comprised of several programs: Section 8 Existing, Moderate Rehabilitation, Substantial Rehabilitation, and the Section 8 Voucher Program. The Section 8 Program has 1,117 housing units under lease throughout the city.

Over the past 20 years, the Gary Housing Authority has expended $30 million in capital and modernization improvements with funds allocated from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The capital and modernization improvements plus other operating expenses subsidies allocated from HUD has enabled the Gary Housing Authority to maintain its housing stock in the best possible condition. Compared to the annual maintenance cost of $28,615 in 1942, the Housing Authority presently spends over $1,500,000 to maintain its public housing developments.

Through the progressive thinking and support of the Board of Commissioners and with the facial and supportive services of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Gary Housing Authority has been able to carry out its objectives of providing safe, decent, and sanitary housing for those who could otherwise not afford housing accommodations on the private market.