Blight or urban decay typically pertains to a house or a part of a city falling into decay due to abandonment. What was once a neighbourhood teeming with families has now been rotting away through the test of time – broken windows, plant flora reaching in and out of each house, floorboards rotting away, and wildlife starting to settle in. The City of Detroit isn’t new to the effects of urban blight and here at Accurate Construction Group, we aren’t as well. We are completely aware of what this does to our city and its residents and we’re ready to help.
Cities across the United States have been vibrant with growing economies and neighborhoods but struggle from lack of investment. Government policies came up with a solution called “urban renewal” which basically demolished entire neighborhoods in a number of urban areas across the U.S. However, in many ways, rather than being a solution for “curing” urban blight, this has been one of its causes. The situation is urgent, but thankfully there is hope. No city better reflects innovation other than Detroit.
The city has gone through a lot, suffering a major economic decline in recent decades. This caused parts of the city to be somewhat vacant with abandoned lots outnumbering half of the residential areas across the city.
In 2010, a plan was brought up to demolish almost ¼ of the city. The plan’s main goal was to somehow “right-size” the city’s resources due to its small population. Years after, the plan backfired. Around 2012, houses were sold at an average of $7,500 and a year after that, almost 47 houses were put up to the market at a price of $500 or less with no buyers. Despite its very low price, this didn’t attract potential buyers looking for abandoned houses and those houses stayed on the market for more than a year.
The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force was created in 2014 which identified almost 40,000 houses under the effect of blight and around 38,000 homes were about to suffer the same fate. These findings made the city suffer a major blow in its property valuation eventually leading the city struggling to pay its own bills. Like the previous years, houses were being sold left and right, in cash, for as low as $500 or $1000.
Coming up with solutions that matter
At the Mackinac Policy Conference earlier this year, Mayor Mike Duggan asked voters to approve a $200 million bond to help wipe out the city’s urban blight by 2024. With the funding, the plan was to take down around 4,000 houses in a year.
“We will not have a single abandoned house in any neighborhood in the city of Detroit,” claimed Mayor Duggan as he was met with applause.
Once approved, the bond will not solely focus on the demolition of blighted houses but also the renovation as well. The renovation of houses under the effect of blight might seem to be a more viable option rather than the demolition of such. Take for example the action of local Detroit resident John George. He was aware of the city’s plummet and, in his own way, wanted to help. He decided that one day, he was going to give a blighted crack house a facelift – and it’s been thirty years since then.
George’s plan eventually attracted others as he started to fix other houses in his area with the goal of stopping property values from diminishing any further. The demolition of blighted houses result in vacant lots which may be a key indicator of a struggling city. With our team of renovation experts, we aspire to work hand-in-hand with you in coming up with long term solutions to the problem rather than short fixes for it. We plan to stay ahead of the curve as every house in the city becomes habitable for its beloved citizens.