SB Common Council member asking for swifter action on blighted homes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend Common Council members took aim at blighted homes at a meeting Monday night.

16 News Now learned why some council members are frustrated with the amount of time the demolition process is taking.

"When you get to a year, two years, what process are you talking about?" South Bend Common Council Member Henry Davis Jr. said.

Davis said he has waited too long for demolition on two burned-down homes in his district to begin.

"My concern at this point is that the residents in that particular area are not only reminded every day that this house is burned up, but also you have the opportunity for children to be hurt and so many other things that may go on with a structure that sits in the middle of a neighborhood in that condition," Davis said.

The city of South Bend has a process in place to handle demolitions, and according to its website, it's a complicated one that can include multiple departments and multiple external parties.

The website says the process can take up to 200 days from start to finish.

Davis says that's not efficient enough for community members.

“I get it, there's a process to most of all of this stuff. It’s government, right? It's bureaucracy at its finest, right? But when you are looking at the time stamp on these things, process means absolutely nothing, and it sounds like we're being ignored," Davis said.

The city says it is still working with the property owner on an insurance claim for one of the buildings Davis mentioned on Johnson Street but did not have an update on the other.

The meeting's talk was an opening discussion on what's more important to the community, the pace or the process for demolishing these blighted homes.

You can see the city's process for demolitions by visiting the vacant and abandoned properties page on its website.