Buttigieg trumpeted the success of the 1000 Houses project when it was completed in 2015, and the city immediately pointed to preliminary data, as it said, showed a decline in crime.
When his profile has risen, Buttigieg points to 1000 House's initiative, pushing his record of economic and racist justice.
In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd earlier this month, Buttigieg noted that for many, the economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis never occurred. But he said, "We have moved in the right direction."
"We made sure our neighborhoods were improved because the issue of flushing and vacant and abandoned properties damages neighbors especially in minority cities" Buttigieg said. "People didn't think it could be done, but we treated 1
People living in the affected neighborhoods tell a more complicated story. They still struggle with the program's influence and are sold less on their successes.
One of the first problems that arose was the dust shooters who feared to contain lead and asbestos that spread out of the demolition sites. Soon, wild animals such as raccoons and ground dogs appeared in people's homes. Vacant lots where crumbling houses once stood were dumped as high grasses grew.
"I think there was just a clear understanding of the domino effect – the real effect of what the actions should be in the neighborhood," said Regina Williams-Preston, representing the city's northwest in its joint council, governing body. "We basically acted for another."
Years later, much of the grass is cut, but problems remain. The empty lots are undeveloped, the economic opportunity remains minimal and crime rates rise from 2012. Shooting on many people's minds has not fallen.
James Kelly, a professor in nearby Notre Dame, co-chairing the Buttigiegs 1000 House Mission Force, said the group was cautious not to raise economic growth beyond what was possible and appropriate.
"I think we knew the idea of dealing with the vacant property problems was to set the stage for new growth, but growth was appropriate," said Kelly. "It was not to promise people that if we did the demolition, their society would look as if they did before Studebaker closed. It was rather a necessary step."
Despite the warning, some say they want the development to come faster. Tim Scott, a member of the Task Force, now president of the City Council, said he was "pretty antsy that we were coming in and working in neighborhoods right away."
"But there was a systematic approach from the Buttigieg administration to the right-sized housing, look at the data and see where we are," he said. "For me we are really in phase 2. After all these years we are in phase two."
Pamela Meyer, South Bend & # 39; s Neighborhood Development Director, said "most of us would say for sure that we all want things to move faster", but to gain ownership Parties take time and developing them takes resources.
"We don't get $ 20 million a year in federal resources. We get about $ 2 million so we're talking about a handful of features that we could work on annually," she said.