Flint races to tear down derelict homes

Mar 10, 2011

The city of Flint is racing to complete dozens of home demolitions by the end of the month. City crews are racing the clock and the weather to meet a deadline tied to a federal grant.

John Evans watched Wednesday as a piece of heavy equipment tears into a vacant home on Flint’s north side.  Pulling down its brick chimney.  The bricks splintering wood as they fall.  It’s a welcome sight to John Evans.  He lives next door.  Evans says the vacant home has become a magnet to Flint’s homeless, who often set fires inside to stay warm.

“I’m really scared because I got kids living in my home.  We got kids here and over there…and I don’t want it to get burned up, because if it gets burned up.  Our house is going up.”

Flint officials say they are on schedule to tear down dozens of derelict buildings before the end of the month.     The city is spending about 30 million dollars in grants to demolish 600 homes and rehab blighted parts of the city. Flint city leaders say they are making progress in demolishing hundreds of derelict homes. Five city crews are working 6 days a week tearing down vacant buildings. They’re racing to meet a federal deadline to tear down homes targeted by a specific  grant which expires March 31st. 

Jesse Buchanan is Flint’s director of building inspection, blight elimination and demolition.  He says his crews will meet the March 31st deadline.

“We’re on schedule right now…and we’ve had two close to ten inch snow storms….as long as mother nature holds up with us we should do pretty good.”