Skip to comments.Detroit area's battle with blight may be key to survival
Posted on 07/25/2013 6:49:13 AM PDT by detective
DETROIT (Reuters) - If you want to tackle Detroit's thousands of abandoned homes and trash-strewn and overgrown lots, there are few better places to start than in Brightmoor in the northwestern corner of the city.
"Brightmoor is arguably one of the most blighted areas in Detroit, which makes it one of the most blighted areas in the country," said Kirk Mayes, executive director of community group the Brightmoor Alliance. "If you can tackle blight in Brightmoor, you can do it anywhere."
Local non-profit, the Detroit Blight Authority, aims to do just that, with and more to come once it raises more funds.
The group has hired 25 local residents, clearing an urban jungle of brush, trees and garbage to the point where occupied and abandoned homes are visible from the street and to each other. In a Detroit neighborhood like Brightmoor that is regarded as a victory.
When Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr filed last week for the city to enter into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, he cited the need to tackle widespread blight, including many abandoned homes and other buildings, as one of Detroit's most urgent problems.
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Good idea but...25 years ago, I worked as a weatherization contractor in Detroit Ghetto houses. As testament to the craftsmen who built them, they were still standing after 20-30 years of neglect. I determined then that there was no financially feasible way to save the structures. That was 25 years ago. Now, almost none of the houses are worth saving. Brick ones around Harper and Moross area, maybe, wooden structures-no way.
Yep. You can raze the house, cut back the brush, build a modern house for comparatively little, and you still have the same city government, the same schools, the same services, the same neighbors, the same criminals.
I have no doubt that within Detroit there is a population that is determined and hard-working enough to be self-sufficient, to pull their city up by its boot-straps. They won't be allowed. And that's the bottom line: they won't be allowed by entrenched interest and culture that only sees them as another source of plunder.