(CBS DETROIT)– Removing blight, one abandon property at a time is the goal of the Detroit Demolition Department under proposal N. To date the department has demolished nearly 500 abandon properties and rehabbed just over 100. An abandon home on Stahalin street that was an eyesore to the community, undergoing that process.

“Once it’s completely cleaned out it will receive the clear board installation so our in-house crews will come in and secure the property it’ll be turned back over to the land bank and it’ll be available for sale, said Detroit Demolition Department Director LaJuan Counts.

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The city’s blight removal program is ran by the Detroit Demolition Department. So far the department has awarded more than half of the first $70 million dollars in Prop N funding to Detroit, Black owned businesses. Priest Price’s company P&P Group was contracted to clear a home on Thursday.

“You definitely had to go out for bid for it, that’s the part they made so seamless to help us to go out for bid for even though we knew we were going up against some bigger companies,” said Priest Price, Owner of P&P Group.

Price says being a small business he was surprised to receive the contract for such significant city work and was able to increase his workforce by 50%.

“I’ve hired 8 additional people in this last week and soon to hire more and they’re all Detroit residents,” Price said.

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“We were charged with ensuring that 30% of the contracts were set aside for Detroit-based businesses, to date we’re about a little more than 50% of our contracts have been awarded to Detroit based businesses,” said Counts.

Under Prop N all companies contracted are required to employ at least 51% Detroit residents.

Counts says another 600 properties will soon go before city council for demo or rehab approval

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April Morton