Abandoned house promised to be demolished by city still stands


DETROIT – It was more than a month ago when Local 4 first showed you a decrepit abandoned home on Detroit's west side. Neighbors were worried it would collapse, and the city promised it would be demolished, but that home is still standing there weeks later.

Families living in that neighborhood said they are upset and running out of patience.

"The whole roof is gone now," said neighbor Courtney Adams. "What's going to come down next? The whole house while these kids are out here playing? You guys need to do something immediately."

Local 4 spoke with Rowana Vance and her neighbors June 4. They were concerned about the crumbling, abandoned house that sits just feet away from their porch. The city told Local 4 it would be torn down within 30 days. Now, 42 days later, the house is still there, and barely standing.

"We waited and waited patiently, and my neighbors are coming by saying, 'Mrs. Vance, are they going to tear the house down?' I said, 'They said they would. Let me call Local 4 back out,'" said Vance.

So Local 4 called the city once again. But city officials have a huge task on their hands, trying to tear down thousands of abandoned houses across the city. The houses don't just disappear; there's a process.

In short, there are clearances that must be met. The city has to find the money to pay for each job, then take bids for a demolition. When it comes to the house on Manor, the area is considered a historic district, so the city had to get even more final clearances.

Local 4 was told bids have been received and the city is close to awarding a contract for the demolition.

"I just want it done in a hurry. I know it's a process, but if you can just push the process along," said Vance. "Every time the wind blows hard, like it was windy the other day, you can hear it crackling. My neighbor said it's cracking. I said just keep the kids away from it."