SB Common Council wants update on vacant homes - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

SB Common Council wants update on vacant homes

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Members of the South Bend Common Council want an update on the vacant homes project.

They are concerned about the process in which the city is demolishing homes.

They are also afraid about potential health hazards like asbestos.

"There needs to be an open channel of communication, between the council and the administration on all of these issues facing the city but this is a pretty significant issue as I think everybody would agree," says Valerie Schey of the 3rd district.

"When I was at different neighborhood meetings, people started to ask me about it, they questioned about the asbestos and other issues it really made me start thinking about it," says Oliver Davis of the 6th district.

Fox28 talked to Phil Terry from IDEM on Friday and he says testing for asbestos is something cities take seriously during demolition because it's a state and federal requirement.

Contractors are required to walk through homes to identify asbestos, or collect samples and send them out and take care of it.

Terry, Branch Chief of Compliance and Enforcement Branch, says, "The city would have to account for that in any of their bidding, as far as being able to comply with any asbestos requirements."

Earliar this year Mayor Buttigieg vowed to take care of 1000 homes in 1000 days.

Terry couldn't give us numbers, but when asked how costly this all is, he said with 1-thousand homes, it would add up.

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