South Bend residents speak up about demolition of hundreds of ho - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend residents speak up about demolition of hundreds of homes

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You might remember, back in February, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced an aggressive plan to demolish hundreds of abandoned homes.  Now a South Bend City Council member is trying to put on the breaks.  Wednesday night Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. gave a presentation to say that before demolition begins, the city needs a better plan.  He said before the city tears down a ton of homes he just wants to know what the plan is for after demolition.  How do they plan to rebuild the neighborhood?  "There has not been a true plan adopted, a lot of what the mayor's plan, 75 page report, it's basically telling us what we already know," said Davis Jr.

Davis said the report didn't do enough to address rebuilding neighborhoods.  "Development cannot be an after thought, the folks in the community cannot be an after thought."  The Councilman has asked for a moratorium on demolition.

He also wants to give local community members a chance to voice their opinions on the proposed demolitions.  Wednesday night several people did just that and agreed with Davis that there needs to be a better plan.  They don't want houses torn down just for the sake of tearing down houses.  And they would like the opportunity for local people to help rehabilitate homes.

But not everyone is against mass demolitions.  One woman said her neighborhood throws a party every time a new home is torn down because it means they don't have to deal with drug dealers in the vacant home anymore.

Mike Schmuhl with the mayor's office said he understands residents concerns and made a clarification, not all 1000 homes will be torn down.

No action was taken on the moratorium Wednesday night but a recommendation will be made on April 22nd. 

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