A major part of Detroit’s blight and demolition program is back in business this week, but this hasn’t been easy, with allegations of corruption and collusion in the city’s use of tens millions of dollars in federal grants.
There have been months of investigations.
The demolition restart will only happen with new state oversight, right on site.
It was shut down for weeks to get the mess cleaned up.
The state shut down the Detroit demolition program in August with what are called Hardest Hit Funds federal grants.
Two state housing officials will be on site, working with the Detroit Land Bank and Detroit Building Authority to watch over operations.
The state will conduct quality control audits.
Demolition contractors can only bid on up to 50 houses at a time.
Subcontractors must be disclosed and the mark up on their work is limited to 10%.
There were allegations the fix was in for contractors to get sweetheart deals.
Former consultant Barry Ellentuck was charged but found innocent of overbilling the city. He’s alleged tens of millions of dollars in corruption and collusion.
Mayor Duggan would not discuss any personnel changes or specifics in state and federal investigations that have been going on for a year.
The state and feds don’t discuss ongoing investigations.
The mayor says they’ve demolished more than 10,000 buildings over the last 3 years, most of those with those federal Hardest Hit Funds.
Twelve hundred homes are now on the list with this new money.