Accused of 'Ambush-Style Eviction,' Detroit Land Bank Faces Lawsuit

A lawsuit, allowed to proceed by a Wayne County judge, reveals some of the difficulties of blight removal.
June 20, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jennifer Dixon reports on a lawsuit in Detroit that illustrates the difficulties of determining boundaries and thresholds to regulate blight removal. Daniel Murray is suing the Detroit Land Bank after he said his home was seized in an "ambush-style" eviction.

There are two sides of the story here. According to Dixon, the Detroit Land Bank says, "the building was blighted, utilities were shut off, Murray wasn't living in the house and he never owned the property." 

According to Daniel Murray, the land bank hauled away "his photos, mother's antiques and the family china cabinet" in a dumpster and demolished the home two months later.

The demolition was funded with money from the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. Dixon provides more background on that program as well as Detroit's blight reduction efforts. "Detroit has spent roughly $120 million in hardest-hit money for demolition, and expects to spend an additional $132 million," explains Dixon.

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Published on Sunday, June 18, 2017 in Detroit Free Press
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