SOUTH BEND, Ind. – When driving down Michigan Street in South Bend a yellow billboard might catch your eye, not because of its color, but what is says. The sign reads “Code Enforcement please demolish 129 E. Milton Street.”
Neighbors said the home, which is complete with broken windows, sagging ceilings, and a porch littered with broken glass, has been abandoned for about two years.
Tony De Shay lives across the street from the home and calls it a “daily eye sore.”
De Shay said the neighborhood tries to maintain it to the best of its ability, but it’s time more is done with it.
"We're the ones out here picking up the trash and cutting the yard, at least try to make it look somewhat presentable, which it’s hard considering,” said De Shay.
De Shay said on Monday it’s time to “fix it up or tear it down.” He’s not alone in thinking so.
Jim Frick is responsible for the sign on the corner of Michigan and Milton Street. “The sign down on the corner has to do with frustration,” said Frick.
Frick owns the house next door to the abandoned home, and said he’s been trying to have it demolished for well over a year and half after he remodeled the home he owns.
"We spent 50,000 dollars on that house and we were promised this would be demolished and right now we've got a family living here ten feet away from it,” said Frick.
Frick said he knows the city is tight on money to demolish houses, but he feels the neighborhood deserves some more attention.
"We've had promises and then priorities change and then the Code Enforcement seems to have run out of money and we have millions of dollars for the rest of the city, but nothing for the Southeast Neighborhood,” said Frick.
South Bend Code Enforcement told ABC 57 the home at 129 E. Milton Street has been approved for demolition. The city said on Monday the home should go up for a demolition bid in December.
The city said as of late September there were 367 homes that needed to be demolished in the city of South Bend and money is an issue when getting rid of so many houses.
Code Enforcement said its demolishing homes in order of priority, based on most severe, danger, fear of collapse, and work that’s been put into surrounding homes.
For Frick, he’s just ready to see it come down.
"They're adding them faster than they're tearing them down, so are we going to get this torn down this year, next year, five years, ten years, I mean it’s impossible to sell the home next door with something like this next to it,” said Frick.