DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is planning a ballot initiative for March 2020 hoping to fund the completion of the city's blight removal program.
For five years the city mounted a full court press on blight, demolishing thousands of abandoned houses with funding from the federal government. Now, that money is almost gone and Duggan said the job is still not done.
"We've taken down 19,000 houses in the past five years. We have 19,000 more to go," Duggan said.
Duggan proposed a $250 million bond program to remove the remaining blight. The money would not have the restrictions the federal dollars did, which means more neighborhoods could be targeted and more Detroit residents could do the work.
"There are two vacant houses next to me," Detroit resident Kimbrly Marble said. "I cut the grass for four of them."
December Davenport lives in Detroit and said the blight is a safety issue.
"Kids can't come out here and play on the sidewalk. There's trash and illegal dumping. If they take the houses down it will help us," Davenport said.