City of Detroit spending $95 million of federal money to combat blight



(The Center Square) – The city of Detroit is targeting $95 million of federal money to take care of blight.

That’s in addition to the city’s $250 million bond that voters approved in 2020 to also address blight remediation. The city estimates it has 16,000 vacant homes in the city limits.

The $95 million is from the federal American Rescue Plan to take care of what is known as Blight Remediation. According to city documents, the city still has $76.7 million left of the federal money to spend on removing the blight as of April 30, 2023.

Mayor Mike Duggan first introduced the city’s Blight to Beauty cleanup in 2021 with responsibility being on both the city and the property owners. If property owners are found responsible the ramifications can include:

Court costsFinesGeneral Service Department Clean up ($2,000-$20,000)

Blight Remediation Teams address deferred property maintenance and remediate emergency conditions if the property owner does not. Clean-up costs are added to the blight ticket fees.

“In the past 10 years, we’ve demolished about 25,000 vacant dangerous houses and have sold another 12,000 or so through the Detroit Land Bank that have been renovated and reoccupied or are in the process,” said John Roach, spokesman for the city of Detroit. “We’re also addressing commercial blight by demolishing vacant former auto plants, etc., while others also are being redeveloped. We expect that in the next two years, we will have addressed all of the long-vacant homes in Detroit and will have all of the large long-vacant commercial buildings removed or redeveloped as well. This has been done with a blend of federal Hardest Hit Fund dollars and local bond funds on the residential blight removal and local, state and federal (ARPA) funds on the commercial side.”

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