Tenants struggle for housing after recent eviction notice

NOW: Tenants struggle for housing after recent eviction notice

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- “It plays on your mind. I am in limbo. I have had my boxes for well 30 days, and I have meltdowns because I run into it, can’t find nothing,” says David Wise, Tenant of Rabbi Schulman Plaza Apartments.

On November 5th, all the tenants at the Rabbi Shulman Plaza Public Housing Complex were notified they are being evicted from their homes. The relocation, according to the South Bend Housing Authority, is due to safety concerns in the building. The authority still has to release a relocation plan for the tenants after it gets approved by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. They were originally given 30 days, but now no firm date will be set until HUD approves the plan.

Tenants say their biggest complaint? Communication.

“Terrible! Terrible! They hide. They don’t answer our calls. Like I said I left a message yesterday, never called me back,” says Wise.

“Terrible. Like he said. The South bend Housing authority. All they care about is the old mighty rent money. That’s all they care about,” says Richard Bulgar, Tenant of Rabbi Shulman Plaza Apartments.  

Nearly a month since being notified, most tenants, are still searching for homes. But now, the South Bend Tenants Association is taking action. The volunteer organization created just two years ago works to fight for the rights of tenants. President and founder, Rodney Gadson, meets personally with each tenant to help find them a home. Now Gadson calls on local leaders to do better.

“People have rights, and their rights need to heard and administered and they need to be treated fairly and that’s the issue with this, there was no fairness with this,” says Gadson,

Mayor James Mueller’s office released a statement saying that they requested a public plan of relocation for these tenants from the SBHA and plan to monitor the situation as they wait on approval from HUD. ABC57 reached out to housing authority officials but got no response Thursday. However, a public hearing regarding the relocation plan will take place on Monday. Gadson hopes to give these individuals a voice throughout this difficult process. Because at the end of the day, they say it all starts with a home.

“And the other problem, if we do not get them housed properly, you see the homelessness on main street, you think that number won’t grow? That’s the reason we intervene, “says Gadson.

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