blight http://michiganradio.org en Is building deconstruction viable on a large scale? Project suggests it just might be http://michiganradio.org/post/building-deconstruction-viable-large-scale-project-suggests-it-just-might-be <p>Wayne County officials say a large project proves that building deconstruction is becoming a viable alternative to demolition.</p><p>Deconstruction is the process of carefully taking apart abandoned properties, and salvaging as many materials from them as possible.</p> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18354 at http://michiganradio.org Is building deconstruction viable on a large scale? Project suggests it just might be Duggan: We'll start seizing drug houses http://michiganradio.org/post/duggan-well-start-seizing-drug-houses <p>Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is expanding his program to seize houses that violate the city’s nuisance abatement laws—and this time, he’s going after drug houses.</p><p>On Tuesday, Duggan announced an initiative to seize and auction off homes that have been raided twice for drug activity.</p><p>Duggan says more than 300 homeowners have already been put on notice—and that starting next week, their neighbors will start getting notices in the form of postcards, too.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 03:32:19 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18303 at http://michiganradio.org Duggan: We'll start seizing drug houses Experiencing Detroit's blight digitally is getting interesting http://michiganradio.org/post/experiencing-detroits-blight-digitally-getting-interesting <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I timed myself and it took me a minute and 21 seconds to&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/27/us/detroit-foreclosure-photo-mosaic.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=photo-spot-region&amp;region=photo-spot&amp;WT.nav=photo-spot&amp;_r=0" style="line-height: 1.5;">scroll through&nbsp;</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">the images of&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit's blight. Initially, I didn't even read any of the analysis that&nbsp;</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">The</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">New York Times</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;provided, I just scrolled.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The <em>Times</em> has done several <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/27/us/Defining-Blight-in-Detroit.html">interactive</a> pieces on blight in Detroit. There's been a wealth of data since the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/27/us/detroit-blight.html">Detroit Blight Removal Task Force Plan was published</a>.</p><p>This one really makes you realize how vast the city's housing problem actually is.</p><p>Their analysis breaks blight up geographically with different anecdotes and facts. Here are two examples:</p><p>7 Mile Road:</p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">While most of the properties on the foreclosure list were residential, about 5 percent were sites of former businesses, of which a majority were vacant lots or unoccupied structures. Many were formerly gas stations, auto body shops and car washes.&nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p>Lenox Street:</p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Ronald Ford Jr. says he has struggled to find work as a laborer and to pay his bills, let alone the $7,000 in property taxes that he now owes. His family bought the house in 1969, and his mother made the final mortgage payment years ago. But he said they stopped paying the taxes after she grew ill and moved into a nursing facility. &nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom</span></em></p><p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:21:49 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18187 at http://michiganradio.org Experiencing Detroit's blight digitally is getting interesting Detroit will continue to face major challenges even after bankruptcy http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-will-continue-face-major-challenges-even-after-bankruptcy <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>As the city of Detroit swiftly works its way through bankruptcy court there are some bright spots on the horizon. The state of Michigan, foundations and corporations are contributing millions of dollars to shore up city pensions and protect art held by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Mayor Mike Duggan is making strides to alleviate blight across the city. However, even in a best case scenario, what issues and challenges will the city continue to face even after the bankruptcy proceedings conclude?</p><p>Jennifer White, host of <em>All Things Considered</em>, speaks with Michigan State University Economist Eric Scorsone about the challenges facing the city of Detroit and the key systemic issues that the city must address.</p><p>Scorsone emphasizes that although there has been some recovery in the city, the challenges of the high unemployment rate, the big differences in the Detroit labor market when it comes to earnings of city residents compared to non-residents, upgrading the skill levels of city residents and the creation of jobs are issues that no one individual will be able to resolve alone, and will require cooperation from many agencies and non-profit organizations.</p><p>According to Scorsone, blight removal is an important step, but it is not necessarily the final solution. There needs to be major changes when it comes to land designated for certain uses such as housing, and stabilizing certain neighborhoods is imperative to the city’s future health.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p><em>--Omar Saadeh</em></p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:44:50 +0000 Jennifer White 18134 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit will continue to face major challenges even after bankruptcy Detroit Mayor Duggan's blight elimination effort http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-mayor-duggans-blight-elimination-effort <p></p><p>This week Michigan Radio and the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> are looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy. One of the biggest problems facing Detroit is the huge number of abandoned houses, buildings, and vacant lots. Here's a look at what’s changed in the six months since <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/MayorsOffice/tabid/123/default.aspx">Mayor Mike Duggan</a> took office.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18082 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Mayor Duggan's blight elimination effort New Flint church seeks to save a neighborhood http://michiganradio.org/post/new-flint-church-seeks-save-neighborhood <p>Flint’s newest church has an unusual mission.</p><p></p><p>Its goal is to save the neighborhood that surrounds it.</p><p></p><p>Community Impact Church held its first Sunday service yesterday in a formally abandoned church. The church is surrounded by abandoned homes, blight, and vacant lots filled with weeds.</p><p></p><p>Pastor Corey James says his Allen Park-based ministry decided to set up in one of Flint’s more distressed northside neighborhoods for a reason: To help people rebuild their neighborhood.</p><p></p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 09:57:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17820 at http://michiganradio.org New Flint church seeks to save a neighborhood Plan to clean up Detroit will be released today http://michiganradio.org/post/plan-clean-detroit-will-be-released-today <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When it comes to Detroit, this actually may be one of the most exciting weeks since Henry Ford began paying people $5 a day a century ago.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit is a mess. A blighted, bankrupt troubled mess. Everyone knows and has known that for a long time.</span></p><p>The good news is that there are now plans in motion by people in power to do something about it. &nbsp;</p><p>Today, the result of a massive, detailed survey of the city, something never before attempted, is being released to the public – together with a concrete plan to clean it up.</p><p>They are calling it “Every Neighborhood Has a Future, and it Doesn’t Include Blight.”</p><p>This isn’t being unveiled by a couple of urban studies professors or second-string bureaucrats.</p><p>Mayor Mike Duggan and emergency manager Kevyn Orr are solidly behind this plan – as are three of the most-respected people in the city:</p><ul><li><strong>Dan Gilbert</strong>, the Quicken Loans czar who has been buying an astonishing amount of land downtown;</li><li>The dignified and deeply respected <strong>Glenda Price</strong>, who turned around Marygrove College, heads a foundation for Detroit Public Schools, and serves on a million boards;</li><li>Plus <strong>Linda Smith</strong>, who runs the highly-regarded civic group U-Snap-Bac.</li></ul><p>Those three headed a blight removal task force who, as part of their work, presided over a project to document, categorize, and map every parcel of land in Detroit – every one.</p><p></p><p>Then they came up with a concrete and tangible plan to do something about it.</p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 14:16:35 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17756 at http://michiganradio.org Plan to clean up Detroit will be released today Detroit to increase auctions and demolition of houses http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-increase-auctions-and-demolition-houses <p>Workers removed some of the plywood covering up a house in the Osborn neighborhood on Sunday to allow potential buyers to check out one of the houses the city will put up for auction.</p><p>Saturday, people visited available houses in the Boston-Edison neighborhood.</p><p>Detroit owns 16,000 properties. Some of them are houses&nbsp;in good enough condition to sell.</p><p>Bidding starts at $1,000, but the buyers have to bring the property up to code and either live in it or rent it to someone.</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 00:30:39 +0000 Lester Graham 17647 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit to increase auctions and demolition of houses Detroit City Council approves massive property transfer to city land bank http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-city-council-approves-massive-property-transfer-city-land-bank <p>The Detroit City Council has agreed to <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140415/METRO01/304150095/1361/Detroit-council-OKs-transferring-city-owned-properties-to-land-bank">transfer more than 16,000 city owned properties to Detroit’s land bank authority</a>.</p><p>The transfer allows Mayor Mike Duggan’s ambitious blight eradication efforts to move forward.</p><p>Duggan wants to use the non-profit land bank as a key tool in the fight against blight.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17247 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit City Council approves massive property transfer to city land bank Detroit launches online auction site to fill vacant homes http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-launches-online-auction-site-fill-vacant-homes <p>The city of Detroit has launched an effort to fill some of its vacant homes with new residents – an<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;<a href="http://buildingdetroit.org/Home">online auction site</a> for city-owned properties. &nbsp;</span></p><p>There are 15 houses listed on the site now. The plan is for the Detroit Land Bank Authority to start auctioning off one home a day, starting May 5.</p><p>Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says this is part of the city “moving aggressively” to deal with blight.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17228 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit launches online auction site to fill vacant homes Detroit starts posting legal notices in new fight vs. blight http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-starts-posting-legal-notices-new-fight-vs-blight <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The city of Detroit has started posting legal notices on 79 abandoned homes in one city neighborhood, warning homeowners to clean up the property--or risk a lawsuit, and the city seizing the home.</span></p><p>The effort in the west side neighborhood near Marygrove College was announced Wednesday afternoon by Mayor Mike Duggan, in what he called a "bold experiment" to fight blight.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It will work like this: once a notice is posted, homeowners have 72 hours to contact the city and arrange to sign a consent agreement. It will stipulate that the homeowner clean up the property, and move someone into the house within 60 days.</span></p><p>If that doesn't happen, the city can sue to have the Detroit Land Bank Authority seize the house. The Land Bank will then re-sell properties it deems "salvageable" at auction.</p><p>“When you leave your house abandoned, it is a nuisance to the neighborhood," Duggan said. "And you cannot legally leave your property in a way that’s a nuisance.</p><p>"I'm going to give every single person when we sue them the choice—either sign the court order to get it fixed up and occupied, or we’re going to take title.”</p><p>Duggan said it will be "fascinating" to see how the program plays out in the Marygrove&nbsp;neighborhood effort plays out over the next 90 days--but that plans are already in the works to expand it to other neighborhoods.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Duggan</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;said represents a shift away from the "mindless demolition" approach to blight eradication--though many homes that are simply unsalvageable will have to be demolished.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“If we take down the houses that can’t be saved, and we sell what’s left…I think people will value that," Duggan said.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lola Holton, a 39-year resident of the neighborhood, said she's ready to see "results."<br /><br />"I'm very, very excited about having community back," Holton said. "That's what we need. We've lost that.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Not only the restoration and taking boards down, but putting families in these houses. To build community."</span><br /><br />&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:51:42 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17162 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit starts posting legal notices in new fight vs. blight Same-sex marriage, war against blight in Flint and Obama's budget proposal make political headlines http://michiganradio.org/post/same-sex-marriage-war-against-blight-flint-and-obamas-budget-proposal-make-political-headlines <p>This <em>Week in Michigan Politics, </em>Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockely discuss<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/fight-same-sex-marriage-continues"> the trial</a> challenging Michigan's same-sex marriage ban, the mayor of Flint's proposal to fight blight in the city, and what President Obama's budget proposal could mean for Michigan.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 13:34:08 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 16720 at http://michiganradio.org Same-sex marriage, war against blight in Flint and Obama's budget proposal make political headlines In this morning's headlines: War on blight in Flint, Great Lakes 90% ice cover, ban term 'retarded' http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-war-blight-flint-great-lakes-90-ice-cover-ban-term-retarded <p><strong>Flint mayor declares war on blight</strong></p><p>"Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is calling for a $70 million "war on blight" to help tear down nearly 6,000 buildings in the financially troubled city. Walling made the declaration Monday in his State of the City speech," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Great Lakes 90% covered with ice</strong></p><p>All of the Great Lakes combined have 90% ice cover. According to the<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140303/NEWS06/303030093/great-lakes-ice-cover-record-ontario"> Detroit Free Press</a>, "that's the most ice cover in 34 years."</p><p><strong>Lawmakers want to ban term "retard" from state law</strong></p><p>"Michigan lawmakers are looking to remove the terms 'mental retardation' and 'mentally retarded' from state law. Bipartisan bills would strike references to outdated language such as 'retarded' from various statutes and instead use terms such as 'developmentally disabled' or 'intellectually disabled'," the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:48:22 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16700 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: War on blight in Flint, Great Lakes 90% ice cover, ban term 'retarded' Mapping all of Detroit's properties, one parcel at a time http://michiganradio.org/post/mapping-all-detroits-properties-one-parcel-time <p>It's no secret that the city of Detroit and Wayne County have been hit hard by the double whammy of foreclosed and abandoned homes.</p><p>For owners of those homes — or those looking to buy as an investment — there's a resource available online: a website called <a href="http://whydontweownthis.com/">Why Don't We Own This</a>?</p><p>We wanted to find out more about the site, and what it means to owners, investors and the neighborhoods.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:58:03 +0000 Stateside Staff 16512 at http://michiganradio.org Mapping all of Detroit's properties, one parcel at a time Look at this interactive map for insight into one of Detroit's biggest problems http://michiganradio.org/post/look-interactive-map-insight-one-detroits-biggest-problems <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The blighted buildings in Detroit have been a major stumbling block for decades.</span></p><p>How do you start revitalizing a city when so much of it is crumbling?</p><p>Current estimates put the number of abandoned&nbsp;buildings at somewhere between 78,000 and 90,000, but that's a guess. Nobody really knows the true number.</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:09:48 +0000 Mark Brush 16499 at http://michiganradio.org Look at this interactive map for insight into one of Detroit's biggest problems Blighted property survey nearing completion in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/blighted-property-survey-nearing-completion-detroit <p>DETROIT (AP) - Surveys have been completed on about two-thirds of all structures in Detroit as part of a project to eradicate blight in the city.<br /><br />The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force is on track to complete its database of 380,217 structures and vacant parcels in February. The project hopes to determine the number of blighted and deteriorating structures in Detroit.<br /> Sat, 25 Jan 2014 20:12:32 +0000 The Associated Press 16178 at http://michiganradio.org Blighted property survey nearing completion in Detroit In this morning's headlines: Roads funding, blight team in Detroit, manufacturing announcement http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-roads-funding-blight-team-detroit-manufacturing-announcement <p><strong>Roads will be a priority in 2014, lawmakers say</strong></p><p>"State legislative leaders say boosting funding for roads will top their priority list in 2014. Governor Rick Snyder has been urging lawmakers to increase road and infrastructure spending by more than a billion dollars," Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Teams start counting vacant buildings to help fight blight in Detroit </strong></p><p>"A large-scale effort to count Detroit’s blighted and vacant buildings starts in earnest today. Seventy five teams of surveyors will assess and map more than 350,000 parcels of land across the city," Sarah Cwiek reports.</p><p><strong>Manufacturing announcement expected in Flint </strong></p><p>"Top officials with General Motors, the UAW and Michigan government will be in Flint today for what’s being called a “significant manufacturing” announcement. GM spokesmen are not saying what the announcement at the Flint Assembly Plant will be," Steve Carmody reports.</p><p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 12:04:26 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15702 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: Roads funding, blight team in Detroit, manufacturing announcement Getting the true picture of blight in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/getting-true-picture-blight-detroit <p></p><p>Though Glenda Price has been in Detroit barely 15 years, it is hard to imagine the city without her. A Philadelphia native, she first came to town as president of Marygrove, a small, struggling Catholic college on the city’s west side. Now in her mid-70s, Price is both a skilled fundraiser and a visionary who can see around corners.</p><p>Though neither Catholic nor a Detroiter, thanks to development skills and an ahead-of-its time distance learning program, she helped revitalize Marygrove before retiring seven years ago. She could have gone anywhere after that.</p><p>She'd had careers in medical technology and as provost and dean of prominent universities. But she had fallen in love with Detroit, and elected to stay. You may not know her, but those who run things do.</p><p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 13:27:20 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15677 at http://michiganradio.org Getting the true picture of blight in Detroit New mayor's plans include speedier house demolitions in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/new-mayors-plans-include-speedier-house-demolitions-detroit <p>DETROIT (AP) - Mayor-elect Mike Duggan says he wants to reduce the time it takes to tear down vacant houses as part of his plan to revitalize distressed Detroit neighborhoods.<br /><br />The Detroit News reports that Duggan also told about 50 people attending the ARISE Detroit! annual breakfast Saturday that between state and federal programs designed to attack blight "there is more than enough money" available to transform the city.<br /><br />The former Detroit Medical Center chief was elected in November and will take over as mayor in January.<br /> Sat, 07 Dec 2013 23:53:13 +0000 The Associated Press 15594 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: Wolf hunt, anti-blight bill, dark money http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-wolf-hunt-anti-blight-bill-dark-money <p><strong>Wolf hunt starts today</strong></p><p>Michigan's first wolf hunt in modern time starts today.</p><p>"The hunt will take place in three specific zones of the Upper Peninsula. State wildlife officials hope hunters will kill 43 wolves during the hunt. There are an estimated 658 wolves in the U.P.," Steve Carmody reports.</p><p><strong>House clears anti-blight bill</strong></p><p>"Legislation meant to crack down on blight in several Michigan cities has cleared the state House. The bills would increase penalties for property owners who break blight laws that are already in place," Jake Neher <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/state-lawmakers-look-crack-down-urban-blight">reports.</a></p><p><strong>Senate votes to increase campaign funding limits</strong></p><p>"Republicans in the Michigan Senate have voted to boost donor limits to some types of political funds, and to allow the people who bankroll so-called “issue ads” to remain anonymous<strong>,</strong>" Rick Pluta<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/split-among-gop-elected-officials-over-dark-money"> reports</a><br /><strong> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:59:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15299 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: Wolf hunt, anti-blight bill, dark money