Detroit: We Need $850M to Tear Down 40K Houses

Major report on city blight carries a big price tag
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2014 5:42 PM CDT
Detroit: We Need $850M to Tear Down 40K Houses
This 2012 photo shows vacant homes in northeast Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Just how bad is Detroit's blight? It took a major task force 331 pages to summarize the problem and recommend solutions, but that's hardly the most jaw-dropping number involved. The panel says the city needs $850 million to tear down 40,000 mostly residential properties over the next five years, reports the Detroit Free Press. And Detroit will need more than $1 billion in addition to that to clean up vacant industrial properties.

“We’re going to find the money and we're going to get this done," says Quicken Loans chief Dan Gilbert, one of three co-chairs of the report. It found that 85,000 of the city's 377,000 properties are hit by blight to some extent, prompting the New York Times to call the report "perhaps the most elaborate and detailed survey of decay conducted in any large city." One person apparently unswayed by the bad news: emergency manager Kevyn Orr. The Detroit News reports that the Maryland resident is shopping for a property of his own in the city's new auctions. (More Detroit stories.)

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