DETROIT (WWJ) – Employees of five downtown-based companies are being given financial incentives to live where they work.

DTE Energy’s Paul Hillegonds says the trend is already there, with a number of young professionals and creative types hanging their hat in downtown Detroit lofts and apartments.

Now, the plan is to create greater density in surrounding neighborhoods, but not just for the younger set.

“We have a number of probably empty-nesters, but also a number of retirements ahead with younger people who will be coming to work in Detroit at DTE headquarters,”  Hillegonds told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey.

“And I think we’re going to see growing interest in living in Detroit,” he said.

Blue cross Blue Shield President CEO Dan Leopp thinks the program will work.

“Our first application came in via email at 10 a.m., and we’ve already gotten about a half-a-dozen phone calls. So, I think clearly I believe the demand is there,” Leopp said.

Blue Cross is offering incentives to their employees to buy or rent downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. It’s a seed program to attract more development and more people to the city.

In the five-year, $4 million “Live Downtown” program, first-time home buyers will get a $20,000 forgivable loan. Renters will get a $2,500 first year allowance, and $1,000 the following year. Employees who already own a home in the city will be given up to a $5,000 grant for exterior improvements.

“Everything is market, and if you’ve got bodies and you’ve got volume, it’s gonna attract business, it’s gonna attract retail. You’ve gotta have that density and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Loepp said.

Other companies taking part are  Compuware, Quicken Loans and Strategic Staffing Solutions.

Comments (290)
  1. John says:

    >>> first-time home buyers will get a $20,000 forgivable loan

    Translation: Please move in and declare bankruptcy. We won’t make you repay the loan.

  2. ron says:

    my life is worth more then money ..

  3. Tammy says:

    Do they think that paying people to live there will solve the problem of downtown Detroit? It won’t. I recently attended a convention in the once mighty motor city, the city my father was born in and lived in until 1954. What I noticed was: No grocery stores, no place to buy fresh perishable foods in the downtown area. I guess you have to drive to the outskirts to get something other than beer and cheetos. very few places to go eat. I lived on hotdogs. Albeit very good ones from Coney and American, and also from the ballpark, you gotta have other options. Little Greektown was nice, but within a block of Greektown, you just don’t want to be walking alone, or even with one other person. The bums seem to leave you alone if you are in a group, but walking in pairs or solo, forget it. There is no Target, Walmart, Kmart, to walk to. So you can move into the fragile downtown area, but you have to continue to commute to shop, to eat,, etc. So whats the point? The city is obviously ruined, the heart rate barely registering. There is still hope for the historic city, but it will require more than just paying folks to lower their standard of living. This idea provides a feel good answer, but not a real or lasting answer to bringing Detroit back to a vibrant life.

  4. Jose madman says:

    Nice, very helpful info to use in my passive income trials

  5. Say Nice Things About Detroit! says:

    I am very happy with the progress that is real and substantial in the City of Detroit, brought about in large measure by Wayne County C.E.O. Robert A. Ficano, along with Honorable Wayne County Commissioner Ilona Varga. Mr. Ficano and Ms. Varga are working tirelessly around the clock to ensure Detroit reclaims its rightful spot as a world class city. I would ask any naysayer here to judge for yourself: walk down Woodward Avenue (soon to have a state of the art rapid rail system!), see the bustling commerce sprouting up along M1, walk the new, safe Riverwalk any evening, and admire the progress through and through our beloved jewel of a city. Take a stroll on our D-DOT transit system (the new D-DOT Rosa Parks Transit Center in the heart of Downtown is accalimed for its beauty and cleanliness), and tour the many fine Detroit neighborhoods before you.

    Detroit and Wayne County are to be admired for their continued recovery!

  6. yoda says:

    i grew up a poor kid in detroit, i moved to the suburbs at 21yo. now its 25 years later and my area is being infested with the ghetto “pants on the ground” fools. maybe it is a worthy investment to move back to the inner city. i bet in another 20 years Detroits surrounding suburbs will be ghetto like chicago.

  7. Markdpez says:

    I think GoDiddy was using sarcasm.

  8. Brushjumper says:

    Detroit, as most American cities are the new reservations for minorities, poverty, crime, UNWED Mothers, school dropouts(50%), corrupt unions, abortions, drugs, gangs, gangsters, guns, and general entitlement living. They have become this way (AS WE ALL KNOW) from the liberal progressive mindset of spread the wealth. As America looks to a future concerning cities, we best totally eliminate all unions and move to a privatization of all services through bidding contracts. Then after putting all criminals in prison with the use of the National Guard can ANY city have a chance of recovery.

  9. jonelle says:

    I would rather live in the Detroit Zoo. There are less Apes there. When you have to start PAYING humans to live around blacks, you know the fruits of “Diversity” are rotten

  10. idindonuffins! says:

    I would rather live in the Detroit Zoo. There are less Apes there. When you have to start PAYING humans to live around blacks, you know the fruits of “Diversity” are truly rotten

    1. malcom says:

      LMAO so true. If you are smart you wouldn’t live around ‘those people’ unless they are truely conservative.

  11. malcom says:

    The city has shown itself to NOT want whites only their money. You would be insane or an idiot white liberal to want to live there. And if you do live their with all that crime don’t go crying once you are targeted because of your race. You deserve what happens to you.

  12. malcom says:

    there may be a huge white women population coming to detroit with this plan

  13. Joy says:

    Most of the comments here are so incredibly ignorant. Maybe you should consider coming out of your close minded little worlds. Of course, Detroit has the same problems as most big cities. There are a lot of wonderful things happening in the City now. Especially Downtown. It will take time and a lot of work for Detroit to be the vibrant city it once was. Keep in mind people, the state of Michigan is nothing without the City of Detroit. When you go out of town, you don’t say, “I’m from Brownstown” or “I’m from West Bloomfield” You say, “I’m from Detroit”

  14. HooDatIS? says:

    i love downtown lets move back and take back our city
    its mess right now but the future is ours

  15. Bill Clinton says:

    The best use of this money would be to incent the blacks in Detroit to move back to Africa and never return. Whites could move back to Detroit and begin the rebuilding process. The whiter the city the move livable the community is. The blacker the city, well, we have Detroit, Newark, New Orleans, etc. Need we say more? There are no 1st world black cities, states or countries. There is a reason, it’s genetic and it’s a lack of intelligence. Blacks are a different species, a sub-species.

  16. Joseph says:

    well atleast someone cares about people. Its nice to see that people are being offered incentives. great works.

    Joseph @ Free Usenet

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