Buttigieg surpassed the success of the 1000 Houses project when it was completed in 2015, and the city immediately pointed to preliminary data indicating that crime had declined.
When his profile has risen, Buttigieg points to the 1000 Houses initiative, putting pressure on his record of economic and racial justice.
In an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC earlier this month, Buttigieg noted that for many, there was a sense of economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. But he said, "We have moved in the right direction."
"We have made sure that our neighborhoods have been improved because the problem of light and empty and abandoned properties has penalized neighbors, especially in the neighbors." Buttigieg said. "People did not think that would be possible, but we dealt with 1
People living in the affected neighborhoods tell a more complicated story. They are still struggling with the effects of the program and are less sold with their successes.
One of the first problems to emerge was the dust clouds, which feared to contain lead and asbestos, which spread uncontrollably from the demolition areas. Soon, wild animals such as raccoons and marmots appeared in people's homes. Empty plots of land that once had crumbling houses became dumps as the grass grew.
"I think it simply was not a clear understanding of the domino effect – the real impact of actions across the country neighborhood," said Regina Williams-Preston, who represents the northwest city in her Common Council, a governing body. "We basically exchanged one problem for another."
Years later, a lot of grass is cut, but problems remain. The empty plots remain undeveloped, economic opportunities remain low and crime rates have risen until 2012. The shootings did not diminish in the eyes of many.
James Kelly, a professor at nearby Notre Dame, who took over the task of Buttigieg's 1000 houses Force said the group was careful not to promise economic growth beyond the possible and reasonable.
"I think we knew that the idea of dealing with open real estate issues was the stage for new growth, but growth was appropriate," Kelly said. "People should not be promised that their communities would look the same in the event of a demolition as they did before closing Studebaker, rather than a necessary step."
Despite the warning, some would like the development to get off the ground faster Tim Scott, a member of the task force who is now president of the city's Common Council, said he was "pretty crazy that we're coming to the neighborhoods right there and there work."
"But the Buttigieg had a systematic management approach to properly dimension the homes, view the data, and see where we are," he said. "For me, we are really in the second phase and after all these years we are in the second phase."
Pamela Meyer, South Bends Neighborhood Development Director, said, "Most of us would say with certainty that we all want things to move faster," but owning open land takes time, and developing these resources requires resources ,
"We do not receive $ 20 million a year in federal funding, we get about $ 2 million, so we're talking about a handful of traits we could work on annually," she said.