Detroit says there's no money to demolish a house officials said was one hurdle away from tear down

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Government red tape is getting in the way of a peaceful life for one elderly Detroit resident.

Julia Ann Phillips used to love her neighborhood, now she fears it.

“It’s just straight up scary, “she says.

What’s so scary is the vacant home next door, ravaged by thieves. The 85-year-old worries her house will be next.

“Thank God they haven’t been here yet,” said Ms. Phillips. “But they’ve been in that house. I don’t get much sleep. I wonder if it’s them.”

After years of living in fear, Ms. Phillips had a glimmer of hope when we brought here plight to the attention of city hall earlier this month.

At that time, city officials said they had one hurdle to get through and the house would go out for bid to have it torn down.

Three weeks later, it’s still standing.

Now, we’ve learned it may stay that way.

The city is relying on federal funds to pay for the demolition of its thousands of abandoned structures. But, there are restrictions on how and where the money can be used.

The vacant home next to Mr. Phillips doesn’t qualify and city leaders say there is no money available in the city coffers to pay for the demolition.

That means there are many more sleepless nights in Ms. Phillips future.


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