Detroit’s mayor, Mike Duggan, plans to board up every abandoned home in the deteriorating city. That is about 25,000 homes. The number makes the task monumental. The city would have to shutter 1,000 homes a month.
Duggan told Crain’s Detroit Business:
[H]is administration plans to launch a street-by-street initiative Aug. 1 to board up abandoned homes in the city while demolition crews continue razing blighted houses.
Detroit has about 25,000 unsecured houses across the city’s 142 square miles, most of which are scheduled to be torn down. But the pace of demolitions has been limited to 4,000-5,000 annually,
Duggan has to keep up with homes that become abandoned over the upcoming two years as well.
Duggan’s problem is that he is chasing a growing target. Detroit’s population continues to shrink. In all probability, the number of abandoned homes will keep increasing.
Detroit has tried to tear down abandoned homes. The pace at which this has been done shows that the effort to bury homes is unrealistic. The city also has tried to sell homes for a little as $1,000. Only a few hundred homes have been sold on this basis. So, the city’s two primary means of solving its housing crisis have failed.
The ability to board up 1,000 homes a month means a significant budget, some skill and a method that keeps a rapid pace. Duggan may have come up with these things. If not, it will be a long two years.