Help Me Hank: Detroit’s demolition battle

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DETROIT – Contractors and companies working to take on blight in Detroit were put on notice Friday and were warned the amount of funding could be running out.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan urged city council to vote on a $250 million demolition bond, but little action has been taken.

Blight isn’t just an eyesore -- vacant buildings can be dangerous and residents want them removed.

Local 4 has covered how often neighbors celebrate when blighted homes in their area are demolished.

The Help Me Hank team receives emails daily from people concerned about vacant homes in their neighborhood.

Duggan is pushing the council to vote on the demolition bond that would go to the voters.

Currently the city tears down about 100 homes each week. Without the bond, it would drop to 25 a week. From about 4,000 homes a year to 1,000.

Duggan’s plan is to bring down 19,000 blighted structures by 2024.

There are some council members who have been cautious to throw support behind the demolition bond. The council will vote Nov. 12.


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.