City of Gary Releases Land Parcel Survey Results
February 18, 2015 — The city of Gary now has information it needs to move forward on tackling blight in the city.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said at a press conference Wednesday that the survey was done with the ultimate goal of addressing the quality of life in the community. Redevelopment Director Joseph Van dyk says the data was collected with all volunteer labor. About 200 people who participated went out in groups on weekends over a period of about two years, walking down every street and surveying every piece of land using smartphones and giving it an A – F grade. They also recorded specifications on each piece of property. Van dyk says key information on vacancy was revealed.
Freeman-Wilson says the city learned that a lot of the blighted properties are occupied, which confronts the city with a social service issue. The city also intends to use the information to streamline its services.
There were just over 58,200 parcels surveyed. Van dyk says 2 in 5 properties in the city of Gary has some sort of disrepair. The mayor says a lot of the owners of blighted properties live outside of the city and there will be an accountability process set up for those owners.
Sharon Jackson, Lakeshore News