Mayor announces $200 property sale in Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Mayor Dave Bing announced a sale during his state of the city speech Wednesday night. 

"This week we sent out over 500 letters to property owners in Hubbard Farms, Springwells Village and Southwest Detroit, telling them if they own a home adjacent to a vacant city-owned lot, they can purchase this lot for a mere $200," said the mayor.

Residents who live in the communities set to benefit are now reacting.

One of them is Tim Alfaro who has lived in southwest Detroit for almost ten years. He says he has seen neighbors come and go. Properties have been abandoned by owners to be claimed sometimes by drug addicts and vagrants. 

He says he has stayed for one reason.

"I just love this city, think it's going to come back and I want to be a part of it, "said Alfaro.

He lives next door to a vacant lot that he cleans and mows in the hopes of protecting his property. He says if he owned it he would put the lot to use.

"We can relax and enjoy ourselves on that side – keep it clean – you know have my family and friends over and we can use it for barbequing and stuff like that."

The plan aims to not only prevent blight, but to help raise revenue for the city.  Lots that the city has been struggling to maintain would instead provide the city with property tax revenue.

The mayor says if this offering works out well for the city, it will be expanded to more neighborhoods.

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