City of Detroit Gets an Extra $42M in Demolition Funds

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority approved additional funds for the city’s blight removal initiative, which will now expand to 90 percent of Detroiters.
Hardest Hit Fund Areas in Detroit

Hardest Hit Fund Areas in Detroit

Detroit—The City of Detroit announced the allocation of $42 million in additional funding for its blight removal program. The amount was approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury at the end of last month, while the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) gave the final agreement on May 3rd. This also allows the city to expand its demolition plan to new neighborhoods. In total, 2,600 homes will be added to the blight removal list, with 1,200 of them located in areas where federal funds from the Hardest Hit Program could not be spent before.

The announcement comes two months after the Detroit Land Bank had submitted a formal request to the MSHDA to further expand the boundaries in the city where federal funds can be used.

“We are so grateful to our partners at MSHDA and the US Treasury Department for their continued display of confidence in our city’s blight removal efforts. I am very proud of the work being done by our demolition team at the Land Bank and Detroit Building Authority”, said Mayor Mike Duggan.

Local authorities plan to take down 5,000 vacant buildings this year and 6,000 next year. In the next few weeks, Detroit will also be awarded its share from the $188 million granted to the State of Michigan through the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Program.

The City of Detroit’s demolition program is the largest in the country and, so far, $170 million were spent for implementing it. More than 8,600 buildings were brought down since January 2014, while 1,400 were renovated across the city as part of the broader anti-blight strategy. Additionally, 4,000 vacant side lots have been sold to neighbors and put back to use.

The initiatives are also increasing property values in Detroit’s neighborhoods. According to a 2015 report from Dynamo Metrics and Rock Ventures, the valuation of homes within 500 feet of an Hardest Hit Fund demolition increased by an estimated 4.2 percent, or more than $209 million citywide. In neighborhoods where all aspects of the city’s blight removal program are in effect, the increase in property values has been even greater. Currently, 90 percent of Detroit’s residents live in neighborhoods where the city can demolish dangerous and abandoned buildings, thanks to this third expansion.

Image via City of Detroit