Rick Williams, facilitator of the Affordable Housing West of the River forums, makes a point during Tuesday's forum held at the Charles Black Center in South Bend. Staff photo by Howard Dukes
Rick Williams, facilitator of the Affordable Housing West of the River forums, makes a point during Tuesday's forum held at the Charles Black Center in South Bend. Staff photo by Howard Dukes
SOUTH BEND — Irene Britt said she and her sister made an investment when they built a home in the area of Lawndale Avenue and Van Buren Street about 15 years ago.

They lived in the house for a while, but eventually decided to rent it.

"We wanted to keep the house at a certain standard, and that standard would be if I wanted to live in it, I know others would want to live in it also," Britt said.

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Both believed the addition of sidewalks would bring the house up to that that standard. When they approached the city to see what kind of assistance programs are available, however, Britt said she learned the city expected her and her sister to foot the bill, and only after that would they potentially be eligible for reimbursement.

"I was looking all over the place and I was seeing all these sidewalks going up and all these other things going up," Britt said at a community meeting earlier this week. "But we were told that we would have to build the sidewalk and the curb and the city would do something in terms of reimbursement."

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