Millions in state funds to be used to demolish vacant, empty buildings in Detroit

Mayor Bing says $25 Million is being earmarked for effort on top of $10 million from city

By Jay Kuhlman - Live In The D Producer


Detroit's mayor is welcoming word that the state plans to dedicate $25 million toward blight elimination efforts across Michigan, including $10 million in the city.

Mayor Dave Bing made the remark Thursday as he helped kick off an effort to tear down 1,500 dangerous and abandoned structures by the end of September. The campaign is part of his goal to demolish 10,000 vacant structures by the time his four-year term ends.

"These are federal and state funds that we are using from HUD. HUD's been very supportive of Detroit and this administration and I hope to go down to Washington soon and get some more money," said Bing.

Legislation passed Wednesday lists how the state will spend its $97 million share of a national settlement with banks over faulty foreclosure processes. According to the state attorney general's office, $10 million of the $25 million for anti-blight efforts would be allocated for use in Detroit.

The office of Gov. Rick Snyder says he's expected to sign the legislation.

For families living near their abandoned buildings, the sights and sounds of construction is music to their ears.

"Coming out here everyday and just looking at it, you just never felt safe out here," said Cecilla Williams, who lives next door to the abandoned building. "This is a new start for us and the neighborhood."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.