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Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned homes
AFP ^ | 08/14/05 | AFP

Posted on 08/15/2005 9:59:30 AM PDT by Pikamax

Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned homes Sun Aug 14, 5:03 PM ET

Rats or lead poisoning. When it comes to the threats from the broken down house next door, Dorothy Bates isn't sure which is worse.

"When it's lightening and thundering you can hear the bricks just falling," the 40-year-old nurse said as she looked at the smashed windows and garbage-strewn porch. "If you call and ask (the city) about it they say they don't have the funds to tear it down."

There are more than 12,000 abandoned homes in the Detroit area, a byproduct of decades of layoffs at the city's auto plants and white flight to the suburbs. And despite scores of attempts by government and civic leaders to set the city straight, the automobile capitol of the world seems trapped in a vicious cycle of urban decay.

Detroit has lost more than half its population since its heyday in the 1950's. The people who remain are mostly black -- 83 percent -- and mostly working class, with 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line according to the US Census Bureau.

The schools are bad. The roads are full of potholes. Crime is high and so are taxes. The city is in a budget crisis so deep it could end up being run by the state.

And it just got knocked off the list of the nation's ten largest cities.

"Detroit has become an icon of what's considered urban decline," said June Thomas, a professor of urban and regional planning at Michigan State University.

"The issue is not just getting people in the city. It's getting people in the city who can become property owners and stay property owners and pay taxes."

Perhaps the biggest challenge to luring the middle class from the area's swank suburbs is overcoming racial tensions, said Stephen Vogel, dean of the school of architecture at University of Detroit Mercy.

"Suburbanites are taking the bodies of their relatives out of cemeteries because they're afraid to come to the city," Vogel said. "There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

Most American cities have experienced a shift towards the suburbs.

What made Detroit's experience so stark was the lack of regional planning and the ease with which developments were able to incorporate into new cities in order to avoid sharing their tax revenue with the city, said Margaret Dewar, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan.

The fleeing businesses and homeowners left behind about 36 square miles (58 square kilometers) of vacant land. That's roughly the size of San Francisco and about a quarter of Detroit's total land mass.

While a decision by General Motors to build its new headquarters smack in the middle of downtown has helped lure young professionals and spark redevelopment in some of the more desirable neighborhoods, there is little hope the vacant land will be filled any time soon.

In his state of the city address, embattled mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said even if 10,000 new homes were built every year for the next 15 years "we wouldn't fill up our city."

And Detroit is still losing about 10,000 people every year.

One solution Vogel has proposed is to turn swaths of the city into farmland. In the four years since his students initiated a pilot project dozens of community gardens and small farms have popped up.

But first the city has to get rid of the crumbling buildings that haunt the streets, luring criminals, arsonists and wild animals and creating a general sense of hopelessness.

"It's partly a resource issue and it's partly a bureaucracy issue," said Eric Dueweke, the community partnership manager at the University of Michigan's College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

"It takes them forever to find the proper owners of the properties and serve them with the proper paperwork," he said. "They're tearing them down at the rate of 1,500 or 2,000 a year, so they're really not cutting into the backlog in any significant way because that's how many are coming on stream."

Dorothy Bates has been waiting three years for the crumbling house next door to be torn down. There are nine more on her short block along with several vacant lots that are overgrown with weeds.

Bates does her best to keep her five children away from the rat nests, but the lead creeping out of crumbling bricks and peeling paint drifts in through her windows.

The most frustrating part of it, says her neighbor Larry, is that so many of the abandoned houses could be repaired. The foundations are solid. The buildings are beautiful. Or at least, they were once.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: democraticcity; detroit; liberals; onepartyrule; urban; urbancesspool; workersparadise
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1 posted on 08/15/2005 9:59:32 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

Never has dawned on anyone there that the city income tax might be a contributing factor to the "white flight"...

Or perhaps the absolutely insane people elected to run the "city."


2 posted on 08/15/2005 10:02:08 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: Pikamax
Well, used to be the abandoned homes would get burned down on October 30th but the city finally put a stop to that (I heard)
3 posted on 08/15/2005 10:02:37 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: Pikamax
"Suburbanites are taking the bodies of their relatives out of cemeteries because they're afraid to come to the city," Vogel said. "There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

Racism? You mean there actually isn't high crime?

4 posted on 08/15/2005 10:02:53 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Pikamax
"Suburbanites are taking the bodies of their relatives out of cemeteries because they're afraid to come to the city," Vogel said. "There are about 400 to 500 hundred (being moved) a year which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

I suppose that I'm very prejudiced against people that want to rob and shoot me. I don't like them at all.

5 posted on 08/15/2005 10:03:19 AM PDT by wbill
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To: Pikamax

Funny how nobody wants to live in the "most liberal city" in America...


6 posted on 08/15/2005 10:04:17 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
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To: Pikamax

....Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned.....HOUSES


7 posted on 08/15/2005 10:05:19 AM PDT by maestro
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To: Pikamax

Lack of regional planning ?


8 posted on 08/15/2005 10:05:43 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Scratch a Liberal. Uncover a Fascist)
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To: Pikamax

Liberals have the "dodo touch". Everything the touch turns to poop. Detroit, Chicago, DC, LA, SF, Seattle...

anyone else see a trend here?


9 posted on 08/15/2005 10:05:59 AM PDT by deadeyedawg (Crush our enemies, listen to their lamentations, and drive them before us!)
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To: Pikamax

Detroit was recently named the most liberal city in the country based on voting patterns. I guess voting Democrat has really paid off.


10 posted on 08/15/2005 10:06:07 AM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
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To: Pikamax

I thought the War on Poverty was supposed to have fixed this sort of thing.


11 posted on 08/15/2005 10:07:39 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: Redbob

hmmm cities leaving in order to lower their tax base.

I wonder how many residential areas would like to "leave" a municipality.

Whould people really object if Detroit was UNincorporated?


12 posted on 08/15/2005 10:07:49 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Pikamax
The city should take large pieces of land by eminent domain, clear it and give it to entrepreneurs who promise to develop it along with incentives and/or tax breaks
13 posted on 08/15/2005 10:07:53 AM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

>>I guess voting Democrat has really paid off.

HA !!!!


14 posted on 08/15/2005 10:08:08 AM PDT by The Raven (They think the Constituion is un-constitutional)
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To: Pikamax

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1463549/posts


15 posted on 08/15/2005 10:08:31 AM PDT by Clemenza (Intelligent Design Isn't Very Intelligent)
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To: Admin Moderator

Duplicate thread.


16 posted on 08/15/2005 10:08:51 AM PDT by Clemenza (Intelligent Design Isn't Very Intelligent)
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To: Pikamax
Detroit, a renaissance mixture of Democrats, unions, and victim-hood.
17 posted on 08/15/2005 10:11:46 AM PDT by polymuser
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To: maestro

homes is better

Abandoned homes have not family gatherings.

Abandoned homes do not have children comming home from school.

Abandoned homes do not raise children

abandoned homes have no future.


abandoned HOUSES can be buldozed for a soon to be deserted Mall.


18 posted on 08/15/2005 10:14:44 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Lack of regional planning ?

Well, if government doesn't plan how our resources are used, then you'll just end up with underutilized resources and sprawl. /sarcasm

19 posted on 08/15/2005 10:15:57 AM PDT by Kay Ludlow (Free market, but cautious about what I support with my dollars)
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To: Pikamax
which shows you the depth of racism and fear."

PFffft...it ain't racaism, it is lawlessness, and if the criminals are black, so be it. Aint nothing to do with race.

.In his state of the city address, embattled mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said even if 10,000 new homes were built every year for the next 15 years "we wouldn't fill up our city."

Hey Kwame, lower taxes you dpsht! Who the heck names their kid Kwame? 10 to 1 odds they don't speak a lick of Swahili and couldn't find Uganda on a map.

20 posted on 08/15/2005 10:17:02 AM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: Ken H
Poverty won due to superior tactics and a more coherent ideology.
21 posted on 08/15/2005 10:18:39 AM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: Pikamax

Will the last person to leave Detroit please turn out the lights....

We shall have all this housing available for the refugees from Iraq that shall come swarming to our shores when the successor to President George W. Bush assumes office and summarily withdraws the US troops from the Middle East.


22 posted on 08/15/2005 10:19:43 AM PDT by alloysteel ("Master of the painfully obvious.....")
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To: Pikamax

One day... ten, twenty, or maybe thirty years from now.. Detroit will turnaround and have an urban revival. And people will be saying "I wish I had invested in Detroit real estate in 2005!"


23 posted on 08/15/2005 10:20:15 AM PDT by Uncle Joe Cannon
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To: Pikamax
Perhaps the biggest challenge to luring the middle class from the area's swank suburbs is overcoming racial tensions

I love these codified statements. The real issue here is black-on-white crime, but of course nobody is going to come out and say that.

24 posted on 08/15/2005 10:21:20 AM PDT by Disambiguator (Making accusations of racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.)
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To: Rodney King

Good point...


25 posted on 08/15/2005 10:21:59 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Pikamax

The legacy of PC multicultural liberalism reaps its rewards.


26 posted on 08/15/2005 10:22:32 AM PDT by Ron in Acreage (It's the borders stupid! "ALLEN IN 08")
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To: Pikamax

A few years ago my wife and I were visiting Detroit. Having
a little extra time we decided to drive over to the Grosse Pointe area and drive along Lake Shore Drive. This is an affluent area of Detroit with beautiful homes. We then drove west off Lake Shore to gain access to I-94. Just a few blocks in off Lake Shore Drive we drove thru areas that were completely blighted ... what struck us was the contrast between Grosse Pointe and the area immediately west of it ... the contrast was shocking.


27 posted on 08/15/2005 10:24:30 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Uncle Joe Cannon

You might be right.


28 posted on 08/15/2005 10:24:35 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: 2banana

socialists rejoice! it worked! Liberal democrats have done what not even the Klan could do.


29 posted on 08/15/2005 10:26:11 AM PDT by Ron in Acreage (It's the borders stupid! "ALLEN IN 08")
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To: Dead Dog

"Hey Kwame, lower taxes you dpsht! Who the heck names their kid Kwame? 10 to 1 odds they don't speak a lick of Swahili and couldn't find Uganda on a map."

We think alike. A few years ago we had a young man wearing the green, yellow, and red everyday to work. He was always talking activism stuff, blah, blah. One day I asked him what the colors stood for and he couldn't tell me. I said "figures" and walked away laughing. Just reaffirms to me that the black leaders ( not all of course I mean JJ and Al et. al. ) teach only what is necessary to cause unrest and unhappiness.


30 posted on 08/15/2005 10:26:44 AM PDT by One Proud Dad
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To: deadeyedawg
You clearly have never been to these regions.

The west coast cities, LA, Seattle and SF are paradise compared to Detroit, Chicago, DC. I've recently been to all of them, and there is just no comparison.

The west coast cities are like shinning cities on the hill compared to the likes of Detroit.

31 posted on 08/15/2005 10:31:47 AM PDT by Black Tooth
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To: Kay Ludlow

I think regional planning translates to "keeping neighborhoods from abandoning the municipality of detroit."

I am sure the politicians are thinking they did not tax them enough.


32 posted on 08/15/2005 10:31:48 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Rodney King

It's racism when you refuse to allow yourself to be attacked by perps because of their color...

Which of course we say is the reason you won't let perps of color attack you...

We demand that you allow perps of certain racial affiliation to attack you...& you will carry cash and you will not cancel your credit cards before 21 days post theft..


33 posted on 08/15/2005 10:39:39 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Save the whales. Redeem them for valuable prizes.)
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To: Black Tooth

I've been there. Was born in the People's Republik of Kalifornia. Never been back after I PCS'd from Camp Pendleton.

I was referring to the high taxes, high crime, etc, inherent to a lib run area.


34 posted on 08/15/2005 10:41:43 AM PDT by deadeyedawg (Crush our enemies, listen to their lamentations, and drive them before us!)
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To: One Proud Dad
How did the nice Mr. Keyes state it: "Race Baiting Poverty Pimps". That pretty much explains it.

A purchased army of chronically ignorant voters, midlessly sacrificing themselves at the alter of the Great Donkey. ...how I'd explain it with a touch of melodrama.
35 posted on 08/15/2005 10:41:51 AM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: Pikamax

Next step: encourage urban homesteading by well armed and trained veterans returning from the Gulf. Gentrify! This to preclude the Muslims from getting the same idea in motion. I'm surprised they haven't started it yet.


36 posted on 08/15/2005 10:45:06 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?")
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To: Pikamax
The people who remain are mostly black -- 83 percent -- and mostly working class, with 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line according to the US Census Bureau.

I'll bet you two thirds of those below the poverty line are not "working class", but welfare. Until those who actually are working class stand up to the bums and the thugs and turn out the leftist politicos who enabled the downfall, nothing will improve. < /rant >

37 posted on 08/15/2005 10:51:20 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?")
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To: JimRed

The Conservitive city is Provo Utah..I think a study between the two is advised for the Democrats...maybe they could learn something.....Religion, family, schooling, job/work, all those ugly consertative ideas...oh and by the way..they work


38 posted on 08/15/2005 10:51:20 AM PDT by Youngman442002
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To: Pikamax
In the news last week, there was a story that Detroit is now the Most Liberal city in the U.S., followed by Gary, Indiana. On the "most conservative" side of the page was Salt Lake (or Provo) Utah - sorry for my forgetful memory.

Looking at the two lists, it amazed me to see the correlation between the most liberal cities, and the highest crime rates vs. the most conservative and the lowest crime rates.

Did anyone else pick up on that?

39 posted on 08/15/2005 10:53:35 AM PDT by golfboy (character is doing what is right, when no one is looking)
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To: Pikamax

Hey, why don't we just turn the entire city into a prison?
Oh...wait...it already is!


40 posted on 08/15/2005 11:01:16 AM PDT by The Duke (You want fries with that?)
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To: deadeyedawg

Oh, OK. Like I said, anywhere in Cal is paradise compared to the nightmare known as Detroit. I'd pay 3x the taxes to live in Cal than that place.


41 posted on 08/15/2005 11:04:37 AM PDT by Black Tooth
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To: Uncle Joe Cannon
One day... ten, twenty, or maybe thirty years from now.. Detroit will turnaround and have an urban revival. And people will be saying "I wish I had invested in Detroit real estate in 2005!"

You are correct, buy low, sell high. The first of the two steps is to buy low.

However, in a hard left liberal run victimhood stronghold like Detroit as soon as someone shows up with money buying properties, the city will hit them with costs to clean up the rats, lead, asbestos, maintaining the property and anything else liberals object to, or want someone else to pay for.

The new owners will also likely be hit with numerous lawsuits from neighbors for the above items and anything else a lawyer can dream up.

I’m sure there is money to be made, but it’s not without many risks.

42 posted on 08/15/2005 11:05:38 AM PDT by RJL
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To: Uncle Joe Cannon; Tulane
Hi UJC-

Detroit real estate would be a GREAT purchase if one was a seventeen year old kid with a valuable trust fund and had sufficient time to sit upon the investment.

Anyone in their thirties or older will be dead long before Detroit can regain its stature as a top-tier American city, IMHO.

~ Blue Jays ~

43 posted on 08/15/2005 11:12:59 AM PDT by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: RJL

They need to raise the taxes on the welfare recipients....as no one has a job in Detroit...other than a government job...


44 posted on 08/15/2005 11:13:24 AM PDT by Youngman442002
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To: Blue Jays; RJL; Tulane

In Los Angeles, Skid Row is now becoming a Chi Chi area for yuppies to live. Old $2 a night flophouses and industrial warehouses have been converted to $2000 + a month 1 bedroom lofts for Yuppies to live in.

I don't think anyone would have predicted this development 20 years ago.


45 posted on 08/15/2005 11:17:36 AM PDT by Uncle Joe Cannon
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To: RJL
Hi RJL-

Can you imagine the virtual TRACTS of land that an aggressive buyer could purchase for a song in the worst Detroit neighborhoods? A couple hundred thousand dollars could probably net several square blocks, if I had to take a guess.

I'm not a gambler by nature, but it would be pretty cool to pony-up the money and subsequently hit a homerun. This is what happened to people who invested in Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ or Brooklyn, NY twenty years ago...they're millionaires now. Sometimes makes me wish that I wasn't so averse to financial risk.

~ Blue Jays ~

46 posted on 08/15/2005 11:20:41 AM PDT by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Pikamax
a byproduct of . . . white flight to the suburbs black crime in the city. . . .

Perhaps the biggest challenge to luring the middle class from the area's swank suburbs is overcoming racial tensions the crime problem. . . .

which shows you the depth of racism and fear the crime problem. . . .

47 posted on 08/15/2005 11:25:40 AM PDT by Charles Henrickson (People don't want to live around crime if they can live elsewhere.)
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To: Youngman442002

2000 Median income $31,543 Provo, $41,189 Detroit.
Property Tax Rate for Detroit .031, Provo .0063.


48 posted on 08/15/2005 11:34:41 AM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: Pikamax

Burn them down.

12,000 abandoned homes equates to 48,000 Democratic votes.


49 posted on 08/15/2005 11:43:17 AM PDT by linkinpunk
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To: linkinpunk
12,000 abandoned homes equates to 48,000 Democratic votes.

Good point, I'll bet every one of those homes is occupied on election day.

50 posted on 08/15/2005 1:17:47 PM PDT by RJL
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