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Duggan aims to hire city crews for demolitions

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Posted at 5:17 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 17:42:45-04

Within the past 2 years, the city of Detroit has demolished more than 8,000 vacant homes.

City officials say of that work, Detroit-based minority-owned workers have been awarded $25 million in contracts. Now, with millions of dollars in new funding, the city is planning an even more aggressive attack on blight.

The city’s blight removal program will increase by 50 percent.

Congress just approved $42 million to Detroit to bust the blight. That’s just round one.

The city hopes to get even more funds.

“I do believe you are going to see the city of Detroit have probably in the range of $150 to $200 million dollars in new demolition funding,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.

Tuesday, Mayor Duggan made the announcement along with Reverend Jesse Jackson, who played a role in Congress agreeing to distribute  $2 billion in funds nationwide to fight blight.

“This may be the first major step to the urban reconstruction in the country,” said Rev Jackson.

“It also leads to a huge amount of renovation funding, because every time we take down a burned out home, the person next door who had a structurally sound home starts to put money into it and fix it up,” said Mayor Duggan.

Detroit-based, minority-owned companies will play a key role in Detroit's resurgence and growing demand for contract work.

The move is also opening a lot of doors for aspiring business owners like Terrence Gore who says the city has given him the opportunities to learn different trades.

“I just want to thank them for giving me the opportunity for going from dark nights to street lights,” said Gore.  “For giving us opportunities even though they are giving us more opportunities."

The city is hosting several fairs to help residents learn how they can be qualified contractor for all of these future demolition projects. For more information visit www.detroitmi.gov/demolition.