March 23, 2009
After a three-decade struggle to develop high quality housing stock and rebuild a local economy following the decline of its major steel industry, East Chicago has begun to see some success in its efforts. Its latest challenges also include skyrocketing foreclosure rates and a high concentration of dilapidated public housing and vacant lots, combined with a prolonged absence of commercial development. However, NDC is working extensively with a team of partners including the East Chicago Housing Authority, the City’s Department of Economic Development and, the project lead, the City Department of Redevelopment to complete a strategic redevelopment plan that addresses these problems. It includes 20 new scattered site single family homes in the West Calumet neighborhood of East Chicago, the deconcentration and renovation of public housing, and the redevelopment of commercial properties. Through our Development Assistance, NDC has assisted in the planning, financing and structuring of this plan, which is already producing positive results. The first new single family home in the area was recently completed and sold and the second is under construction with four potential buyers on the horizon. Planning to transform the site of a substandard public housing development into affordable senior housing is also underway. These developments represent hope and the first new investment in the area in decades.