DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says the city plans to tear down 1,500 dangerous and abandoned structures by the end of September.

Bing’s office said the 90-day campaign is part of his previously announced goal of demolishing 10,000 vacant structures by the time his four-year term ends in December 2013.

In working toward that goal, Bing’s office said more than 4,500 demolitions have been completed.

Demolition of 10 structures begin Tuesday afternoon.

Bing said the work being done also is part of the city’s blight elimination and neighborhood stabilization efforts, the U.S. Department of Justice Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and the Safe Routes to School campaign.

More than 350 structures scheduled for demolition were identified by students, parents and patrol volunteers of Denby, Osborn and Cody high schools.

HUD money is financing the demolition effort.

Detroiter Al Viettzke says his neighborhood needs help, and neighbors need to help themselves.

“We gotta get our city back,” Viettzke  told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Mike Campbell. “We have to help. We can’t just wait for it to happen and wait for the officials to be able to find the time.

“They’re just busy answering the phones about complaints — that’s all the time they have. They don’t have the time to do anything,” he said.
Vietzke helped create the Northeast Neighbors United Association; they’re boarding up and mowing the lawns of abandoned homes in an area between Chalmers and Hayes, from Seymour (6 Mile) to 7 Mile.

A survey released two years ago placed the number of vacant homes in Detroit at about 33,000.

Today, Mayor Bing says there are 70,000  abandoned and dangerous structures in Detroit that need to be torn down.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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