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Opening Arguments

$1 down, nothing a month

Desperate times in Gary:

When you hear that Gary, IN, has a dozen homes for sale for $1 each, you might be inclined to dig into your wallet and ask, “Will you take a 10-spot for the whole lot of them?” But these home aren’t available to just anyone with four quarters to rub together, so nearly 94% of interested buyers have been turned away.

Gary’s mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson, tells CNNmoney that when the city announced the availability of these properties back in June, it received applications from 400 potential buyers.

But nearly all of those applicants didn’t meet the city’s strict guidelines for eligible buyers:

-Must have lived in Gary for at least 6 months;
-Must have $1,000 in savings;
-Must earn at least 80% of the area’s median annual income of $35,250;
-Must demonstrate that they have the financial ability to rehabilitate the home;
-Must not currently own a home.

In other words, only those who can conceivably afford to keep the house and make a minimum level of commitment are eligible. What a concept! That's usually an approach taken by non-government groups such as Habitat for Humanity.