Goal of '1,000 Homes in 1,000 Days' initiative met

By  | 

The city celebrated the last house addressed in its "1,000 houses in 1,000 days" initiative this afternoon.

In February 2013, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced the effort to repair or demolish 1,000 vacant and abandoned homes in just 1,000 days.

South Bend met its goal a full two months ahead of schedule.

The thousandth day of the program is not until November 24.

City officials and community members gathered today on Clemons Ave. at the site of the last home.

They weren't just celebrating the house though, but also the family who owns it.

The Jara family has spent the last year restoring the house to make it a home; before that it was on the city's demolition list.

So far nearly 400 homes have been repaired and about 500 demolished.

The city has put close to $10 million dollars into this effort.

Another set of houses are under contract right now and will be demolished soon.

The Jara family was praised for their hard work at today's celebration.

“The problem is never 100 percent solved. What is true is that the problem has been addressed. The best possible outcome is what you see in front of you. A family that has shown and really put their sweat equity into it and is going to look after the property,” said Mayor Buttigieg.

The Jara’s home needed to be stripped down to the studs before work could even be started.

“We stopped by took a look at it and said, well we're not quite sure if this is something we can do, but we made it happen and we're very excited that we did,” said Penny Jara, homeowner.

They plan on moving in within a month.

Mayor Buttigieg also says they are not going to stop the initiative, and at this point there are actually more than 1,000 homes in South Bend that have been addressed.

The mayor says that the next key step is prevention; prevention to make sure that if there are homes likely to go into that category of abandoned or vacant, resources are provided.