DETROIT (WWJ) – A beautiful, but decaying, home on Detroit’s east side was boarded up on Wednesday by a community action group looking to draw the attention of Mayor-elect Mike Duggan.
The house, on East Grand Blvd., is just one of nearly 80,000 foreclosed properties littering the city.
The group Michigan United (not wasting any time following Tuesday’s election) is asking Duggan to step up right away and impose penalties on banks that let the properties just sit there untended.
“There have been so many instances when crimes have happened in abandoned houses,” said group organizer Debbi Adams. “So, at least if they’re boarded up or they’re renovated, that won’t happen.
“We’re about cleaning them up, making them livable, and having people move back in,” Adams said. “We want the banks and the corporations to reinvest in the city of Detroit; to be a good corporate citizen, if you will.”
The group wants Duggan, who will take office in January, to enact minimum standards for the upkeep of foreclosed homes.
They’re also asking Duggan to focus on Detroit’s struggling neighborhoods — not just on areas of growth.
“It’s time to put neighbor back in neighborhood, not just for midtown and downtown, but for the whole town of Detroit,” said group member Lee Gaddies. “Because Detroit has been tore down from the floor down.”
” … Restoring Detroit shouldn’t just be about pretty new things downtown or about moving new Detroiters into midtown,” Gaddies said. “It should be about the communities the support the tax base that is left here in Detroit, and how we can improve those communities and make them places everyone wants to live.”
Blight reduction was listed as a top priority in Duggan’s campaign.