Professor James Kelly Joins South Bend Mayor to Tackle Vacant & Abandoned Properties

Author: Susan Good


Professor James Kelly and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will co-chair a task force that will create more options to combat the problem of vacant and abandoned properties that are hurting city neighborhoods.

“Professor Kelly’s insights and leadership throughout this process will greatly aid our efforts in South Bend,” said Buttigieg.

Joined by Professor Kelly, Mayor Buttigieg announced the Mayor’s Vacant & Abandoned Properties Task Force at a February 28 press conference in front of a vacant home that is scheduled to be demolished by the Department of Code Enforcement.

“Tackling the problem of vacant and abandoned properties that bring down our neighborhoods is a number one priority for this administration,” he said. “We need a comprehensive strategy to rehab or tear down homes, hold absentee landlords accountable, and coordinate more with the county on the sale of these properties.”

Professor Kelly is a clinical professor of law at NDLS who joined the law school faculty in 2011 to teach and research community development law. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law and Visiting Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He also worked as the executive director of Save A Neighborhood Inc. and as legal consultant for the City of Baltimore’s Project 5000, which helped municipal government and community groups acquire and clear vacant houses and lots. At NDLS, Kelly launched and operates the Legal Aid Clinic’s Community Development Project.

More information about Professor Kelly and other Legal Aid Clinic faculty is available here.