South Bend Housing Authority plans to demolish and rebuild Monroe Circle complex

NOW: South Bend Housing Authority plans to demolish and rebuild Monroe Circle complex

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The South Bend Housing Authority is repositioning the past to rebuild a better future, overcoming last years hardships, after former leaders were indicted for fraud.

Mold, bed bugs, and leaking roofs — all three were conditions residents at properties were dealing with last summer.

“They need to tear all of this stuff down. We don’t know what’s in the air ducts. I’ve had ‘em cleaned you’ll be surprised," said Henry Turner, a Monroe complex resident.

Turner’s lived in the same unit at the Monroe Complex since 2009, where he says he saw former property managers ignore normal tenant requests.

Now he’s finally getting his wish, an upgrade and demolition plan, spearheaded by new Executive Director Catherine Lamberg.

"All of the housing that we were handed has basically lived it’s useful life. That doesn’t negate us of the responsibility of ensuring quality affordable housing for the residents that occupy our units," said Lamberg.

After running the numbers and seeing the damage, Lamberg says it’d be cheaper to demolish and rebuild it. Partnering with developers Mccormick, Baron, and Salazar, the authority is now hosting meetings with residents from both the Rabbi Shulman building and Monroe Circle, to determine the future layout of the complexes.

“At this point we don’t have specific plans. We have a general idea of what we would like to have. Huge big picture is replace it on the original footprint with affordable housing," said Lamberg.

With no set time frame Lamberg says they’ve already begun phasing residents to move out, but fully intend to bring them back into the new buildings once it’s finished.

Something Turner is excited for.

“Anything new would be a blessing by itself so what I hope to see is smiling faces and healthy people walking around," said Turner.

Lamberg tells ABC57 they’re hoping to add to the overall number of units in both buildings to provide more affordable housing for those in need.

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