SB launches Vacant & Abandoned application - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

SB launches Vacant & Abandoned application

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There's a new way to tackle the Vacant and Abandoned House initiative in South Bend. Over 1,000 properties are being looked at. Some will be demolished and others restored. The city is looking for the community to give their opinion on how to handle the properties.

An Olive Street caller says "This property is currently being worked on." This is just one call made to a new South Bend website. Reed Ducey-Gibbs says City Voice was created specifically for the city to get feedback on it's Vacant and Abandoned homes. "It helps develop conversations and allows people to see what the community is thinking about these specific properties."

He is working with a Code For America team on launching this brand new application. "We really wanted to make it easy for people to interact and have their voices heard by the government."

Code for America has partnered with the South Bend Code Enforcement on this project. Sunday, volunteers placed signs at 250 homes that are considered borderline properties. Code Enforcement Director Shubhada Kambli says the signs encourage community members to call in and their feedback can be heard on the website. "We need to have an understanding of whether residents are interested in potentially living in these houses," says Kambli.

A Carlisle Street caller says, "We're planning on fixing it and occupying it very soon. Please tell me if there's anything I need to do to take this house off the demolition list."

Melinda Floyd lives on Johnson Street, she says she works hard at keeping her house nice, but her street is full of vacant and abandoned homes. "A lot of these houses around here really need to be torn down. They're eyesores."

She says she regularly contacts Code Enforcement when she sees homes in bad shape, which is why she's excited for a new outlet for sharing feedback. "I can actually put my input in, hopefully someone can actually hear me. Since I live here for the moment, I don't want to see it."

That's why she says she will continue to share her opinions and she hopes others do the same. "I'm very happy to see this happening."

The city says they will take it seriously in determining which properties to demolish and which to salvage.

To view the website click here.

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