South Bend anti-blight drive off to slow start

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The city of South Bend is off to a slow start in its drive to repair or demolish 1,000 abandoned houses in 1,000 days.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced the program in February 2013. In a little more than a year since then, city figures show about 90 houses have been repaired and 44 demolished.

Deputy Mayor Mark Neal tells the South Bend Tribune that the city has been making reasonable progress. He says city workers spent several months cataloguing 1,177 vacant and abandoned houses.

The city has sent aside $2 million toward the project and is seeking more grant funding.

Neal says the severe winter also slowed down work but that he's confident action will be taken on more than 500 houses by year's end.

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