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Detroit Plans To Force Action On Blight Removal

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A dilapidated building in Southwest Detroit. (credit: Ron Dewey/WWJ, File)

A dilapidated building in Southwest Detroit. (credit: Ron Dewey/WWJ, File)

vickiethomas2 Vickie Thomas
Vickie Thomas is the City Beat Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950. She was...
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DETROIT (WWJ) – Clean up your property or get hauled into court.

That’s the message from General Council of the Detroit Land Bank Kevin Simowski, who says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is looking to crack down on land owners with blighted lots.

Hired by Duggan, Simowski began work this week, and appeared before the Detroit City Council on Thursday.

Talking to WWJ’s Vickie Thomas, Simowski  explained the plan is to resurrect a program from Duggan’s days as Wayne County Prosecutor which forced blighted property owners to either clean up or face legal action.

“There are a lot of avenues to attack  blight, abandoned properties, nuisance,” Simowski said. “We found the most effective way is through court action.”

Pending City Council approval, Simowski intends on filing 50 lawsuits a week forcing land owners to fix up or turn over their property.

“These are lawsuits, many cases, that will be filed asking the court to hold landowners responsible for their property,” he said.

Officials estimate Detroit has nearly 80,000 vacant properties in its 139 square miles.

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