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GHA Executive Director Julian Marsh

Delaney West and Concord demolitions begin

Contributed By:The 411 News

Oldest Delaney housing still standing, wrecking crew hits newest development

Demolition that kicked off Monday at Delaney Housing follows the LIFO principle – last in first out.

Delaney Community Housing opened in 1946; in 1953, Delaney West opened. In the 2100 block of Fillmore, aluminum and other salvageables lay in piles as demolition work paused at Delaney West for officials from the city of Gary and Housing & Urban Development to hold their press conference.

HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph Galvan said demolition at Delaney West and Concord On The Hill was fast tracked due to threats to life, health, and safety of residents nearby. “Since these sites are integrated into existing neighborhoods, it is difficult for the housing authority to prevent illegal trespassing, vandalism, and other nefarious activity. Everyone should feel safe and secure in their homes.”

Monday’s demolition set in motion the teardown of 227 units in 42 buildings at Delaney West and 27 units in 7 buildings at Concord On The Hill, 19th & Burr Street. Concord opened in 1971. Both sites have been unoccupied for several years.

Gary Housing Authority Executive Director Julian Marsh described it “as part of Gary being reborn.” Marsh said the city will determine how the land will be used. The housing authority, he said, is looking to build newer and desirable affordable housing around the city.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said, “Our vision is to replace it with housing and retail space so residents of this area can feel their homes are just as important as others. This is a great day. This demolition will give rise to growth and to new development in the city of Gary.”

HUD has for quite some time been moving away from low-income public housing, Marsh said. “The backlog to rehabilitate sites like these is in the billions of dollars. The government doesn’t have the money for the upkeep of obsolete housing.”

Marsh estimated HUD’s approval to phase out the remaining housing developments in Gary, Delaney East and Dorie Miller, will come in the next 3-4 years. “We have had conversations with tenants. And we must have relocation plans.”

Converting Al Thomas and Carol Mosby Brown buildings to better senior housing is in GHA’s plans. They include renovations and a demonstration project to provide rental assistance to tenants.

Both demolitions are expected to be finished by June 2019.

Mayor Freeman-Wilson greets demolition contractors Bill and Cory Critser of Gary Material Supply.

GHA Executive Director Julian Marsh

Excavator begins demolition of Delaney West unit in the 2100 block of Fillmore

Story Posted:11/07/2018

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