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Mike Duggan

City takes lead on boarding up vacant Detroit homes

Aug 10, 2017
Workers board up a vacant home in southwest Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Abandoned homes are a familiar sight in many Detroit neighborhoods. And they aren’t just an eyesore. Left unsecured, those vacant properties can become magnets for crime.

But a new city program is hoping to change that.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says for years, the work of boarding up vacant homes fell to volunteers.

"The city would deliver plywood for free on the weekends, and the neighbors would volunteer,” he said at a press conference announcing Detroit's recently launched “board-up brigade.” 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

We should know by Tuesday night which candidates will vie for Detroit mayor in this November's election.

The top two vote-getters will move on from tomorrow’s primary.

First-term incumbent Mike Duggan is seen as the heavy favorite right now. He’s running for re-election on a kind of “good start” platform.

Mayor Mike Duggan handing Kiya Snapp the deed to her house after she completed the occupied buy back program
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Eighty Detroit families are regaining ownership of their homes, after nearly losing them to foreclosure.

This is the first group of families to complete the Detroit Land Bank’s “occupied buy back” program that sells Land Bank-owned homes to people rather than kick them out.

Poster for the Detroit Summer Fun Centers.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is partnering with the Detroit Public Schools Community District to use 16 public schools as recreation centers for five weeks starting Monday. 

The city wants to give kids more recreational choices, but it would’ve been more expensive to reopen the 16 recreation centers that were closed down between 2006 and 2013.

There are currently 11 recreation centers in the city, so adding these 16 schools during the summer brings the total to 27, where it was in 2006.

Mayor Mike Dugan talking about Grow Detroit's Yougn Talent program with city youth
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

For the second straight year, more than 8,000 Detroit youth will be working for a city program this summer.

The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent hired 8,127 young people from age 14-24 to work for one of 530 companies across the city.

GDYT hired 2,500 more young people than in 2015 when it began, but 30 fewer than it hired in 2016.

City councilman Scott Benson has been involved with getting youth from the city’s third district, which he represents, into the program since last year.

A home being demolished in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

The Detroit Land Bank Authority will pay the state $5 million to settle complaints over how its demolition program handled invoices.

But Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will also get $5 million from the state in new demolition money.

“This gives us enough funding to go full speed ahead with the demolitions for the next year and a half,” Duggan said.

The city also reimbursed the state roughly $1.3 million for its investigation costs.

Duggan is satisfied with the deal.

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing Motor City Re-Store plan on Detroit's westside
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Much of the new development in Detroit has not happened in the city’s neighborhoods.

But now Mayor Mike Duggan wants to invest in small businesses throughout the city.

Duggan announced the Motor City Re-store plan that will help improve the aesthetics of different commercial corridors in the city.

Duggan says small businesses can apply for up to $500,000 in matching grants each quarter.

“And what we want is the businesses who have been here to come forward with their ideas for improving their neighborhoods and we’ll match it,” Duggan said.

Demolition
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Detroit demolition scandal heats up after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena earlier this week.

The Detroit Land Bank Authority was tasked with handling vacant property demolitions after Mayor Mike Duggan took office in 2014.

Duggan says nobody from his office was questioned or subpoenaed.

“We have made sure that everybody at the Land Bank and Building Authority have given them all documents, and access to all people as quickly as possible,” he said.

Duggan says he and his office will continue to cooperate with federal investigators.

dugganfordetroit.com

At the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference this week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan flatly explained to a mostly white audience the systematic racism that shaped the city of Detroit and the surrounding region. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessnberry talk about the impact of Duggan's speech and his vision for Detroit's future.

Detroit skyline in 1930.
Courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society

Earlier this week, I said words to the effect that I didn’t think many of those attending the annual Mackinac Policy Conference were doing much to relate to the average citizen.

Largely, I think I was right.

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing plans for Midtown west development project at Delta Prep Academy in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A new development project is coming to Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Midtown West will be a $77 million development project that will be located at what was once the Wigle Recreation Center near Midtown.

It will include a total of 335 residential units, 175 rental units and 160 units for sale. About 20% of those rental units will be affordable housing.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez represents the district where the project will be.

She says it’s important that development be done with and for the people.

Hospital bed
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Mayor Mike Duggan and CEOs from three Detroit health systems announced a new job training program for city residents.

 

The Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence are partnering with the city and Oakland University’s nursing school to train and employ 240 Detroiters in healthcare over the next year.

 

Meet the city of Detroit's Chief Storyteller: Aaron Foley
City of Detroit

One of the most primal human experiences is storytelling. And now that ancient tradition is coming to Detroit City Hall.

Mayor Mike Duggan's team has a new member: Aaron Foley now holds the title of Detroit's Chief Storyteller.
Aaron's been a journalist at MLive, Ward's Automotive, and for the past year and a half, the editor of BLAC Detroit magazine, covering black life, arts and culture.

Foley tells Stateside leaving BLAC was difficult, but says he couldn't pass up the challenge of starting a project like this from the ground up.

"You have this project in multiple forms, where we go across the city, talk to residents, talk to neighbors, talk to people about what they'd like to see in their neighborhoods," Foley said.

"Also, to talk to them about what's coming to their neighborhoods. There's a big push to make sure that everyone is included in whatever goes on in any neighborhood, whether it's a tree coming down, or a new housing development ... and this is just taking that an extra step forward."

According to Foley, one of the goals of this project is to bring people from different parts of the city together and to create more of an awareness of citizens' own neighborhoods. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaking where he plans to build Ella Fitzgerald Park on the city's northwest side
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says neighborhoods won't be left out of the city's comeback.

Duggan announced his two year plan to invest $4 million into the Fitzgerald neighborhood on the city's northwest side, near Livernois and McNichols.

The project aims to rehab 115 vacant homes and 192 vacant lots, create a two-acre park, and build a bike path between Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Maurice Cox, the planning director for the project, says the goal is to create something seldom seen in the city.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaking to media, surrounded by Detroit firefighters.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit firefighters are responding to medical emergencies, Mayor Mike Duggan announced Thursday.

Duggan launched a medical training program for firefighters two years ago. Since then, firefighters have responded to more 30,000 medical runs, nearly half of all the city's life-threatening calls.

Duggan says firefighters are the first to arrive to emergencies 60% of the time, frequently keeping patients alive until paramedics arrive.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: One promise Mike Duggan can’t keep?

Mar 30, 2017

Home sales with mortgages are rare in Detroit, occurring in just a few areas. Use the slider in the middle of the image below to see where the cash sales (red) are compared with sales via mortgages (blue).

for the map/Bridge map by Mike Wilkinson:

Few mortgages in Detroit

Most home sales in Detroit require cash; only 19 percent of the 3,800 sales in 2016 involved a mortgage, reflecting the difficulty to secure loans in a city where property values are less than half what they were a decade ago. Click on a marker to get more information, including price and year the home was built.

Source: RealComp II

If Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is to be taken at his word, perhaps he shouldn’t be running for re-election this year.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Mike Duggan knows politics.

That’s partly why Detroit’s mayor is alleging that former Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr misled him about the city’s pension exposure. It’s an insurance policy.

Courtesy of City of Detroit, Mayor's Office

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently made some significant claims against the city's former Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. Duggan accused Orr and his team of misleading the city of Detroit on the future cost of pensions.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan officially has a challenger in the city's mayoral race. And his name is familiar to many Detroit residents.

Coleman Young, Jr. officially announced he's running for mayor in the upcoming August primary.

The 34-year-old state senator is the son of former Detroit mayor Coleman A. Young. While sitting under a picture of his father, he said he's not running on his father's name.

From left: Mark Young, head of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association; Mayor Mike Duggan; and Detroit Firefighters Association President Mike Nevin.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit mayor’s race is barely underway, but incumbent Mike Duggan is already picking up some key support.

Leaders of Detroit’s police and firefighter’s unions endorsed Duggan Thursday morning.

They say under Duggan’s leadership, their departments are gradually re-building from the devastation following years of cutbacks and the city’s bankruptcy.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
City of Detroit

Detroit is still on track to exit state financial oversight next year, despite having to make unexpected pension payouts out of its annual budgets.

That’s what Mayor Mike Duggan told the City Council at a preview of his proposed 2017-18 budget on Thursday.

The pension liabilities are not included in the city’s bankruptcy-court mandated plan of adjustment—something Duggan says was “concealed” from him by former emergency manager Kevyn Orr during the bankruptcy.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announcing his campaign for reelection.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan officially launched his reelection bid today.

Duggan’s first term was focused on new streetlights for the city’s neighborhoods and blight removal projects. Now, he is pivoting his focus to public education and crime.

“We are going to fight the irrational closing of these Detroit Public schools,” Duggan said.

The state has placed two dozen Detroit schools on the list for potential closure this year because of consistently low test scores.

“You don’t close a school until you’ve created a quality alternative,” he said.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

According to Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit has nothing to fear from President Trump’s executive order on so-called “sanctuary cities”—because Detroit is not one.

Detroit is sometimes called a sanctuary city because of a 2007 anti-profiling ordinance that bans police from asking about immigration status during traffic stops, while interviewing witnesses, and in most other cases.

DetroitMI.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says he wants to speed up the process of acquiring blighted homes through the Detroit Land Bank Authority, an agency under federal investigation.

The current city treasurer, David Szymanski, will step down from that role and move over to the land bank to lead a “litigation team” that will focus on seizing more blighted properties under nuisance abatement laws, Duggan said Thursday.

The Big 4 on the big screen at Cobo Center. Left to right: Mark Hackel, L. Brooks Patterson, Mike Duggan, and Warren Evans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit’s “Big Four” had their annual public gathering at Detroit’s auto show today.

The four leaders are the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county executives, and Detroit’s mayor. It’s usually a mostly feel-good conversation about regional cooperation.

And indeed, they did talk about that and a range of other issues. But the leaders also couldn’t avoid the topic of the hour: Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Leaked audio tapes seem to show Fouts making incredibly degrading comments about African-Americans and disabled people, among others.

Vice President Joe Biden in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Joe Biden made one of his final appearances as vice president at the Detroit School for Digital Technology on Tuesday.

Biden was the public face of the Obama administration’s limited efforts to help the city through its bankruptcy and aftermath.

Biden says that after eight years of slow but steady recovery, he’s confident the country remains a place that “will never bend, never break, and always go forward.”

“And Detroit is the single shining example, if you were to pick any one place in America, to demonstrate that’s who we are,” he said.

Fortune 200 company moving to downtown Detroit

Nov 30, 2016
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks at Adient press conference at Cobo Hall.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The world's largest global automotive seating supplier announced today it will establish its new headquarters in Detroit.

The Milwaukee-based company Adient chose Detroit to build its new headquarters because of the economic opportunity it sees in the downtown area.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he's proud that companies want to move to the city.

“To move their global headquarters to Detroit is a message to every major company in America that Detroit is a place that you want to be,” Duggan said.

A home being demolished in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

A federal investigation into Detroit’s demolition program under Mayor Mike Duggan seems to be picking up speed, and possibly widening in scope.

Federal agents visited the Detroit land bank Wednesday.

The land bank has used almost $130 million in federal money, originally allocated for foreclosure prevention, on demolitions as part of Duggan’s aggressive blight elimination campaign.

Under Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit has used federal anti-blight funds for an aggressive demolition campaign.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s rapid-fire demolition campaign under Mayor Mike Duggan was rife with questionable bidding practices and lacked major internal controls, according to state and federal reviews of that program.

That revelation emerged Monday, as the city announced the U.S. Treasury had released another $42 million in federal funds for the program.

But that funding had been suspended for two months, as the treasury department reviewed a Michigan State Housing Development Authority investigation.

U.S. Assistant Commerce Secretary Jay Williams, right, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan at the LINC Logistics facility.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s efforts to “re-industrialize” are getting a boost from the federal government.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration is giving $4.1 million to the city of Detroit and its quasi-public economic development arm, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

A little over $3 million will be used to build up infrastructure in and around the long-stalled I-94 Industrial Park.

That site has mostly been vacant for more than two decades, after the city cleared a large swath of land  on its east side for the project in the 1990s.

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