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Community Renewal Good Stories - Gary/Hammond/East Chicago

New Construction in EZ Neighborhood = Affordable Housing and Jobs

Gary/Hammond/East Chicago, Indiana, EZ

"This project is a great fit for the Empowerment Zone," says Business Empowerment Center Manager Scott Upshaw of the Gary/Hammond/East Chicago EZ. The Emerson Multifamily Housing Project "combines job training and job creation for zone residents. It also creates new housing stock in an established neighborhood that has spurred improvements in the surrounding neighborhood."

Gone are the weedy, vacant lots and boarded-up homes in the 500 blocks of Rhode Island, Georgia, and Vermont streets in Gary, Indiana. The Emerson Housing Project, which includes 10 garden apartments and 34 apartment townhomes, is the cornerstone of the revitalization.

The two- and three-bedroom homes include a mix of affordable and market-rate housing. Financed through the EZ and sponsored by the Gary Urban Enterprise Association, the project is bringing job training and the promise of a better quality of life for everyone involved.

The Gary Urban Enterprise Association offers participants job-readiness skills, employment training, education, and job placement for at least 6 years.

"As part of the loan agreement, at least 100 EZ residents participated in job training with 51 completions and 49 placed into construction or related jobs," reported Upshaw.

"These are good-paying jobs tied to the construction trade and include framing, roofing, electrical, and other skilled trades." The Emerson Housing Project, said Upshaw, "will make a positive impact on the community for generations to come."

For more information on the programs of the Gary/Hammond/East Chicago, Indiana EZ, please contact Executive Director Scott Upshaw at (219) 886-9047.