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Detroit Receives Funding for Another Demolition Push

A recent influx of money to Detroit for demolitions of abandoned properties brings the city's total to $107 million. That money has established Detroit as the country's proving ground for the idea that demolitions stabilize struggling neighborhoods.
November 10, 2015, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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James R. Martin

"The City of Detroit stands to receive an additional $21.25 million in demolition money from the federal government under a proposal authorized by the Obama administration and approved Wednesday by a state housing board," report Todd Spangler and Paul Eggan. "The money will be enough to take down nearly 1,300 blighted structures if recent averages hold."

The funding comes by way of the U.S. Treasury, which essentially allowed the Michigan State Housing Development Authority "to move another $32.7 million of a $498-million award made in 2010 under the Hardest Hit Fund." According to Spangler and Eggan, the recent influx of money (split between Detroit and Flint) "marked the third time Treasury has allowed the state to move money from other home-ownership protection efforts under the program into demolition, which state and city officials have argued can do more in some municipalities to help stabilize struggling neighborhoods."

The money gives the Detroit Land Bank funding to operate through April. Flint had already ceased demolitions due to lack of funds. The article also notes, importantly, that costs have gone up on average for demolitions in Detroit—to $16,400 per demolition from about $10,000 in 2014. Matt Helms and Joe Guillen report on the increased demolition costs, and the pushback they've provoked, in a separate article. 

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Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Detroit Free Press
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