Mayor Duggan unveils new plan to fight blight

(WXYZ) - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan unveiled a new plan to beat blight, and he’s getting some help from Talmer Bank and a $1 million incentive for homeowners of the Marygrove community on the city’s northwest side.

“We’re going to roll through the city starting with the strongest neighborhoods,” says Duggan.

Duggan talked to residents of Marygrove, promising to address abandoned homes in a 16-block area of the city’s northwest side.

The first phase of Duggan’s neighborhood-by-neighborhood effort began earlier on Wednesday , when the city placed signs on 79 vacant homes, notifying owners they have only until Monday, April 14 or the city will file suit under a nuisance ordinance.

If the owner doesn’t upgrade the home, it could be titled to the city’s land bank by May and on an e-Bay type auction site in June, fulfilling a campaign promise Duggan offered in the days leading up to the November mayoral election.
But there’s more.

Duggan announced at the public meeting held at House of Prayer church on Wyoming that Talmer Bank has committed $1 million to the Marygrove neighborhood and will provide up to $25,000 in forgivable loans to buyers that live in the home for five years, $5,000 for each year.

But some in the crowd were skeptical.

“We’ve had so many problems with the bank and homeowners in the city and here we are now supposed to trust the bank,” says Marygrove resident Sylvia Orduno.

Others are concerned only developers will gobble up the properties.

“I would like to see individual homeowners get these homes,” says Claudey Jones, a Marygrove business owner.

The mayor prefers the home go to individuals, but is not against developers buying the land, saying “We want the homes renovated and occupied.”

Duggan hopes to save about 50 of the homes. The rest may be demolished under the city’s blight removal program.

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