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South Bend leaders talk housing problems on the city's west side

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — City leaders have renewed a push to bring more high quality affordable housing to struggling neighborhoods.

The goal is to capitalize on the city's "1000 homes in 1000 days" demolition and revitalization program, particularly on the west side of South Bend.

A large portion of the night's conversation focused on the 1000 homes in 1000 days initiative, which saw nearly 700 houses leveled in just two years.

Many of those homes were on the city's west side, so leaders are now looking to rebuild in those communities and they have put money aside to ensure it.

"$300,000 that we think will make a difference in a lot of the remediation and repair that needs to go on,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Learning about that planned investment was invaluable to the dozens who showed up to the community forum hosted by Indivisible Indiana District 2.

Many of them voiced frustrations and concerns with what they feel has been a lack of attention from the city to their neighborhoods.

While $300,000 will specifically target development on the west side, South Bend leaders have $1.3 million in the pipeline to address wide-spread housing problems.

And they say they’re doing it through development without displacement.

"It’s really important that we pay attention to the legacy home owners to make sure they have the opportunity to participate in redevelopment that's happening in our community,” said Regina Preston-Williams, a member of the South Bend Common Council.

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