News Column

Blight strategy report due today. Watch freep.com for coverage

May 27, 2014

By John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press



May 27--The much-anticipated report that will guide Detroit's blight removal efforts will be released to the public this morning.

Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr will join the three co-chairs of the blight task force -- Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert, Detroit Public Schools Foundation President Glenda Price, and Linda Smith, director of the U-Snap-Bac civic group -- in presenting the report at Focus: Hope.

The plan, titled "Every Neighborhood Has a Future?And It Doesn't Include Blight," is based on eight months of research and data collection. The presentation will include a background briefing on how the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force did its work as well as a demonstration of the Motor City Mapping survey, a digital survey of every parcel in the city.

The report is said by people who have seen drafts to be a chunky document, well over 100 pages, filled with text, maps, and graphics, and covering all aspects of the blight problem in the city.

Once in hand, the report is expected to guide the city's campaign against vacancy and blight over the next five years or so. Orr has estimated that the city's bankruptcy plan will free up about $420 million to spend on blight removal in coming years.

The Detroit Land Bank Authority, meanwhile, has been gearing up to help renovate or turn over for razing some 20,000 parcels in its inventory.

The work of the task force dates to September 2013, when the Obama Administration convened the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force to develop a plan to remove every blighted structure and clear every blighted vacant lot in the City of Detroit as soon as possible.

Contact John Gallagher at gallagher@freepress.com or 313-222-5173. Follow him on Twitter @jgallagherfreep.

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(c)2014 the Detroit Free Press

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Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)


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