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“100 Days, 500 Families” plan addresses vacant lots and rehabbing homes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- At Wednesday night’s Community Relations Committee Meeting, neighbors discussed revitalization of homes on the west side of town.

Responding to the community’s request for redevelopment, District 2 Council Member Regina Williams-Preston previously proposed the “100 Homes in 500 Days” plan. It addressed vacant lots in the area with new construction.

Feedback from the community showed many were afraid of gentrification, that development could ultimately lead to displacing the people to who live there now.

In addition to new construction, the plan now also focuses on rehabbing current housing. For every new house that’s built, helping four homes in need of TLC. It’s now called “100 Homes, 500 Families.”

Moving forward, Williams-Preston says the community’s input is what this process is all about. Soon, community surveys and focus groups will be conducted to get an analysis of the neighborhoods.

“Usually people go into a room and the elected officials or whoever is in charge make all the decisions and then tell people what’s going to happen. So, this process is much messier but it’s so much more rich. We believe it’s going to have a better outcome in terms of making sure the people whose tax dollars is actually going back to benefit them, they’re participating in and benefiting from the revitalization that’s going into the community,” says Williams-Preston.

Hoping to continue this dialogue with the community and include the mayor and other city officials in the conversation, plans for another meeting are in the works. When we find out the details about where and when we will pass that along.

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