Public meeting on 100 Homes in 500 Days plan brings concerns of gentrification
It’s been about two years since the city completed the 1000 Houses in 1000 Days initiative addressing vacant and abandoned properties in South Bend. Now, what’s next?
A new plan, 100 Homes in 500 Days, is hoping to fill those vacant lots in the West an Southeast sides and provide more options for people who make an average salary.
It was discussed at a public meeting on Wednesday night at the County City Building, and introduced by housing consultant Anne Mannix and Councilmember Regina Williams-Preston.
“There’s a lot of vacant lots and the neighborhoods need them, the people who live in the city may not have that option because they don’t have the house they need,” says Mannix.
They received a mix reaction from the community. Some neighbors worried about gentrification.
"We are going to bring 100 really pretty houses but what are the side effects of that happening?" says one neighbor.
“We got a lot of great feedback it's kind of a lot of what we expected there's a lot of concern about what's happening,” says Williams-Preston.
Williams-Preston says the goal is revitalization without displacement.
“This kind of process is saying we are going to be responsive to the needs of the people who live in so that already and make sure they have opportunities as well to have nice beautiful safe housing,” says Williams-Preston.
Next, they are hoping to do a market study and get some working groups together. If all goes well construction could start as early as summer of 2018.