You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

An Indiana city is selling $1 homes to save itself from decay. Here's what you can get for the money.

Business Insider Logo By Aria Bendix of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 10: 
  The city of Gary, Indiana, is selling a handful of homes for
  just $1, but buyers are expected to renovate them within one
  year. 
  
  The Dollar Home Program is part of a strategy to reverse
  decades of urban blight, which has 
    plagued the city since the decline of the steel industry in
    the 1960s. 
  
  About a third of homes in Gary are unoccupied or abandoned,
  but the government remains optimistic that it can breathe new
  life into its neighborhoods. 
  

  The small city of Gary, Indiana, has endured decades of hard
  times. More than half of its 
  population has disappeared since 1960, and 
  a third of its homes remain unoccupied or abandoned. 

  Recent years have seen high levels of crime and low levels of
  employment and education.

  The local school district has even taken to 
  selling off dilapidated schools that have been subjected to
  vandalism and arson. Despite their crumbling walls and graffitied
  doors, the buildings may be the district's last hope for paying
  off its $100 million debt.

  
    Read more:
    
  8 cities and towns where you can get a home for free - or buy one
  at a massive discount
  

  Empty homes are seen as both a burden and an
  opportunity.

  In 2013, the city began selling abandoned properties for a
  single dollar, provided that the buyer earned at least $35,250
  annually and brought the home up to "habitable standards" within
  a year. At the end of five years, the city would cede full
  ownership.

  The start of the program brought hundreds of applications,
  though many didn't realize that the homes would require extensive
  repairs.

  A housing coordinator for the city's Department of
  Community Development told The Times of Northwest Indiana that
  
  renovations to dollar homes could cost about $20,000 to
  $30,000. That's still much cheaper than the 
  average home price in Gary, which hovers at around $46,000.
  

  The Department of Community Development lists a
  dozen $1 homes on its website. Though all of them are in need
  of serious renovations, they have plenty of untapped potential.
  Take a look below.

Buyers are expected to renovate them within one year

The small city of Gary, Indiana, has endured decades of hard times. More than half of its population has disappeared since 1960, and a third of its homes remain unoccupied or abandoned.

Recent years have seen high levels of crime and low levels of employment and education.

The local school district has even taken to selling off dilapidated schools that have been subjected to vandalism and arson. Despite their crumbling walls and graffitied doors, the buildings may be the district's last hope for paying off its $100 million debt.

Empty homes are seen as both a burden and an opportunity.

In 2013, the city began selling abandoned properties for a single dollar, provided that the buyer earned at least $35,250 annually and brought the home up to "habitable standards" within a year. At the end of five years, the city would cede full ownership.

The start of the program brought hundreds of applications, though many didn't realize that the homes would require extensive repairs.

A housing coordinator for the city's Department of Community Development told The Times of Northwest Indiana that renovations to dollar homes could cost about $20,000 to $30,000. That's still much cheaper than the average home price in Gary, which hovers at around $46,000.

The Department of Community Development lists a dozen $1 homes on its website. Though all of them are in need of serious renovations, they have plenty of untapped potential.  Click ahead to take a look.

Read more: 8 cities and towns where you can get a home for free - or buy one at a massive discount

© Gary Community Development

More from Business Insider

Business Insider
Business Insider
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon