Detroit neighbors want answers on blighted homes


DETROIT – Many Detroit neighborhoods have them: run-down, dilapidated houses scheduled to demolished.

But the houses sit -- sometimes for years -- as neighbors can do nothing but watch.

"They just don't care. Not this area ... they don't," said Annie Johnson.

Johnson lives on Mound Road near 7 Mile Road. She said she carries a knife and prays before walking with her daughter to school. She feels like the city has forgotten them.

"It's sad because you see a lot of neighbors try to keep up their property, but we just don't get no help," she said.

Johnson said the house next-door to her has been ransacked and used by squatters. She said it's time for a change.

"If they can't be saved, knock 'em down. Because it's dangerous," she said.

Over on McLean Street, Jack Craig lives in what used to be a crack house. It's now remodeled. He and his neighbors are fighting back to save a condemned house for their own safety.

"It's actually the last on the block that's in sore condition," he said.

Whether the home is torn down or renovated, neighbors think it would be a win for everyone.

"Every house is being renovated. There's kids playing in the vacant lot, playing soccer," said Craig.

The city of Detroit just notified the owner of the house -- it needs to be fixed or it will be seized.

The home over on Mound Road in Johnson's neighborhood is further along in the process. It will be demolished if a review shows it's not salvageable.

The owner of a home on the city demolition list has 6 months to get it up to code or the city takes it back.

About the Author: