New HUD Secretary Pledges Clout to Revitalize Gary

GARY, Ind. (AP) – New U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro is pledging to use federal clout to help revitalize the city of Gary.

Castro went to the beleaguered northwestern Indiana city on Wednesday and said its vacant downtown Sheraton Hotel has become a symbol of blight and must come down. The Post-Tribune reported he spoke as a yellow excavator moved debris at the site.

Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, took office last month and was ceremonially sworn in Monday by Vice President Joe Biden. His trip to Gary and to nearby Chicago later in the day marked his first official visits to cities that benefit from HUD money.

Castro says he sees HUD “making investments to create partnerships, create jobs and a catalyst in the urban core.”