Is Detroit winning the blight battle?

19,375 structures demolished since 2014

DETROIT – According to publicly available data put out by the city 19,375 structures have been demolished since 2014, but there is still a long way to go for Detroit to be blight free. 

At quick glance, it looks and sounds like a construction site, but it’s far from it. It’s crews boarding up abandoned homes across the city of Detroit. 

“We started July 20, 2017 and it is an initiative by the mayor to make the community, the residents safer,” said Detroit’s Project Manager and Analytic Specialist Crystal Perkins. 

Perkins said in 2017 it was estimated that about 20,000 homes needed to be boarded up. As of now, 24,531 homes have been boarded up. 

“With these houses being boarded, hopefully it will deter people from going in, doing any criminal or illegal activity in these houses,” said Perkins. 

Criminal activity that shocked many this summer, when police reported they identified a serial killer. 

Suspected serial killer De’Angelo Martin is accused of murdering multiple women across Metro Detroit and hiding their bodies in abandoned homes.

Perkins said that alone forced the city to take immediate action.

“We have identified back this past summer approximately 4,000 houses east and west that needed to be boarded.  At that point we began averaging 300-350 houses being boarded a week,” said Perkins. 

Perkins said out of the 4,000 abandoned homes they counted this summer. They have 38 houses left to cover up. 

If you see an abandoned home in your neighborhood you can reach out to the City of Detroit at 313-628-1136 or email Boardup@DetroitMi.gov or download the app, ImproveDetroit.  

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