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Law professor tapped to tackle vacant property issues

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Notre Dame Law School professor James Kelly will co-chair a task force with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg that will look at ways to address the problems created by the city’s vacant and abandoned properties.

Kelly joined the law school last year and teaches and researches community development law. He launched and operates the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic’s Community Development Project. He has experience dealing with vacant properties: Kelly worked as a legal consultant for the city of Baltimore on a project that helped municipal governments and community groups acquire and clear vacant houses and lots.

The task force is made up of 14 people, including Mitch Heppenheimer, of Heppenheimer & Korpal; and Ann-Carol Nash, assistant city attorney in the legal department. The group will hold public meetings in affected neighborhood and work to create a comprehensive strategy to rehab or tear down homes, hold absentee landlords accountable, and coordinate more with St. Joseph County on the sale of the properties.

 

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