South Bend Common Council votes 'no' on homeless housing zoning change

NOW: South Bend Common Council votes ’no’ on homeless housing zoning change

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Common Council voted 7-2 against a zoning change on the homeless housing rezoning project late Monday night.

The vote places the project to permanently house the homeless on hold. Without a project site, the city is at risk of losing more than $2 million in state and federal funding.

The plan included 22 apartment units, but neighbors were concerned about safety, as well as contamination at the site.

A recent document cleared the West Washington Avenue location's environmental status, after a report from 2004 showed possible contamination from a fuel tank farm previously on the site.

The mayor's office responded in a statement, saying the city is concerned about Monday's decision and its impact the city's homeless strategy. 

South Bend Director of Communications Mark Bode wrote, “The administration is concerned that tonight’s decision could interrupt South Bend’s progress on homelessness strategy. Permanent supportive housing is a proven, long-term solution. In the coming days we will reassess our options and discuss a way forward with Council and community leaders as we continue working to support our most vulnerable residents and our neighborhoods.”

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