South Bend Common Council questions community investment in city's 2020 budget

NOW: South Bend Common Council questions community investment in city’s 2020 budget

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On South Bend’s southeast side, there’s work going on to build new homes. 

On Wednesday, a group of neighbors, staff from a community development group called 466 Works, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg showed off five new houses that the Mayor sees as a possible sign of hope for forgotten neighborhoods. 

“What folks here in this neighborhood are doing with support from the city and others is setting up a virtuous cycle,” said Mayor Buttigieg. 

It’s a cycle of homeownership, affordable housing and city investment. On Wednesday night, the city’s Department of Community Investment touted neighborhoods as the focus of the department’s 2020 budget. DCI asked the city’s Common Council to approve a $3.2 million budget. Council Vice President Karen White said there are more dollars stowed away in grants and tax incremental finance funds. 

“How do they touch the neighborhoods,” White said. 

According to city data from 2016-2019, city investment has been more kind to some neighborhoods than others. For example, the Far West Side received just over $45,000 in investment compared to LaSalle Park’s $5 million. 

The council did not have time on Wednesday to question the department’s staff on how the dollars will be spent, but the council said their priority is on neighborhoods. 

“We’re looking at this budget to reflect those critical issues,” said White. 

Click here for the entire budget proposal. 

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