Just how much blight there is in Detroit

A recent report shows the patterns of blight in Detroit:

These numbers come from a report released this week by the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force on the results of a manual survey of 377,602 property parcels in the city. Nearly one in three structures in Detroit needs some kind of intervention, according to the analysis. That covers 78,506 structures that the report has deemed “blighted” or showing indicators of blight, as well as 6,135 lots that have effectively become neglected dumping grounds…

“We need to recognize the volume of blighted structures did not happen overnight,” the report declares. “Detroit’s conditions are the physical result of dire economic and social forces that pulled the city apart over many decades.”…

The empty lots, vacant homes and shuttered industrial plants that attest to this exodus are not evenly spread across the city. And so Detroit — as New Orleans did after Hurricane Katrina — will face difficult decisions about where to focus its efforts, prioritizing those places where investment will have the greatest impact on people who still live in the city. By Detroit’s reckoning, no city has ever addressed more than 7,000 blighted structures in a year. The task force is proposing to eradicate all blight in the city in the next five years, lest blight beget more blight, with the problem continuing to spread beyond the city’s ability to keep up…

Detroit Blight Removal Task Force

This could provide an interesting comparison to urban renewal projects of the 1950s and 1960s in numerous major cities that many scholars and residents would see mostly as land grabs. Some of those projects were justified with blight as a cover to push people out. The situation today in Detroit is quite different as there is a large number of blighted properties that not too many people want and few would argue that blight is not a legitimate problem. Of course, as the article notes, these properties drain resources from a city that needs more resources. Yet, dealing with all the blight is not easy…

2 thoughts on “Just how much blight there is in Detroit

  1. Pingback: Closing on a house feels like… | Legally Sociable

  2. Pingback: Invoking (a different kind of) blight to take land for Foxconn | Legally Sociable

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