Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Abandoned Detroit houses Previous Next
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 73
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 8:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a lot of abandon detroit houses either due to fire damage or crime area or forclosers. YES? so my idea to fix this problem is to have .5% of taxes detroit brings in to buy house properties and demolish the houses.



p.s does anyone know how much .5% of the taxes would be approx.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 747
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 9:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd like to see the houses either fixed up or torn down before Cobo gets expanded. If there is money for that, there should be money for re-building the communities of Detroit, where the taxes should be collected and spent in the first place.
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Dfd
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Username: Dfd

Post Number: 196
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 10:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think they tried to do that in the past, and the problem was not being able to find the owners?
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 221
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 10:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Too bad all areas are not like Brush Park. There, whatever is still standing, seems to be being fixed up.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 749
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 10:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A LOT of Brush Park was torn down over the last 15 - 20 years, and accelerated for those Condos.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 226
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 10:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yep. If only this process in Brush Park had started 20 years ago, we might still have a lot of those houses still standing. My point was that if it can be saved, save it.
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East_detroit
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Username: East_detroit

Post Number: 922
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 10:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about the property goes to whomever pays to tear it down?
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Detroiturbanity
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Username: Detroiturbanity

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 11:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about an urban renewal academy that teaches demolition. Class projects: tear down abandoned structures. Land reverts to the academy to develop (in whatever best way is available)
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 227
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 11:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Interesting idea.
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Detroiturbanity
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Username: Detroiturbanity

Post Number: 3
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 11:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Probably self sustaining, too.
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 229
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 11:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

After a couple of years, who'd know if there would be anything to tear down though. Might be too efficient for their own good. And welcome to the forum Urbanity.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8154
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 11:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about I pull a million dollas out of my ass - seems as plausible as the other ideas.

.5% of taxes - the city is broke. They cant divert .5% of taxes to anything. With proper management this may be reasonable but I don't foresee that heppening.

Cobo - Different tax base. Can't be diverted.

Brush Park - Private development is driving that, mostly due to downtown and stadiums - Ain't gonna happen near, say, City airport.

Urban renewal academy - Sounds neat. Who is going to pay for the capital costs to demo the homes? DPS doesn't have the money. Private funds won't cover it. Private construction/deveopment companies are losing their ass so they won't want to put up the dollars.

Sorry to be the dick. If you do have a concern about the blight I suggest that you contact blight busters and volunteer some time or dollars. Those guys do some good work.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 750
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 11:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know the Cobo is funded very differently, but the point I was trying to make is that if there is funding that can be found for that, there should be money to be found for fixing up or ripping down dilapidated housing. Many of these homes are starting to be seen in very stable areas where an ounce of prevention will net the City huge returns in property taxes over the long term. These are not the areas with like Brush Park, but rather the ones like Warrendale, Corktown, Grandmont, and EEV.

Another consideration is that abandon homes are just another magnet for vagrants and can be dangerous for children in the neighborhoods. Such an investment would lead to less calls to the police, and hopefully the enforcement of true crime, by removing a lot of the nuisances.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8157
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 12:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed but Cobo is funded regionally. You will have a better chance of castrating LBP in front of a love audience than getting someone outide of Detroit to pay one peeny to help the city.

I wish I had a solution but I don't. I do however wonder why the city doesn't go after the best grant writers in the country. There is a lot of money out there for this stuff and we get very little of it. I suspect that a few full time grant writers could net a lot of money for much needed things like demolition and additional federal enforcement.
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Andylinn
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Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 299
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 1:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ooooh! did i just hear LBT and CASTRATION in the same sentence!? I LOVE THIS FORUM... YES!!! i'm being serious here... this is a great and very slanderous idea... --- i could do without the "love audience" part, though...


p.s. my next post, #300 should be saved for something good... i'll make it my first GOOD post ever...
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5041
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 2:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, as someone mentioned above, a significant portion of these homes are owned by persons out of city and out of state altogether, many of which never get back to the city, and the city doesn't have the money to hunt down and then go through legal wranglings with all of these absentee landlords and former homeowners. A huge chunk of this problem is actually chalked up to external problems that the city doesn't have much control over.
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 74
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is a little off topic but what other event besides NAIAS at COBO has complained about space issues.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 239
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 8:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the City of Detroit has tried tearing down vacant homes in the past. Another huge stop to doing this is a lot of legal issues.
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Fastcarsfreedom
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Username: Fastcarsfreedom

Post Number: 114
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

French777--I think SME would happily use the extra space. If you look at other large scale convention facilities such as McCormick Place in Chicago--the entire square footage of the complex is never used for a single event. The fact that the NAIAS would be perhaps one of only a handful of events that would need the entire floorplate--doesn't mean the facility cannot be expanded and better utilized. Hosting multiple small and medium sized conventions would be a huge boost to the downtown hotel and entertainment businesses. In reality, floorplate size-aside, Cobo is still a mish-mash of it's various incarnations--the late 80s expansion and renovation was really only partial--and what's been left is a facility that is no longer competitive with out-of-state facilities.
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Jasoncw
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 323
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 3:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I saw the numbers on this once, and throughout the years, the city has spent a ton of money and has demolished a huge number of abandoned houses. For a few decades, bulldozing the houses was going to be the solution to keep people from leaving the city.

One of the problems was money, and another was that they literally couldn't bulldoze the buildings fast enough.
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 73
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 4:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Weeds grow on empty lots. Something has to be done about lot maintainance. Unless of course whole neighborhoods empty and nature takes its course with urban prairie growth.
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Patrick
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Username: Patrick

Post Number: 3876
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 5:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

After the structure is torn down, could the space be covered with something? Black top it?
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Haydenth
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Username: Haydenth

Post Number: 207
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 5:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I, for one, would not want to live in a city that black topped all of the empty lots. It would be so damn hot in the summer without any green!
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5042
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 6:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess you'd damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. Some are complaining about houses not being bulldozed fast enough, other's are complaining that too much is being bulldozed, while still others are complaining about the after effects of tearing down entire blocks of housing (i.e. weed-filled lots). I think we expect too much of city government in a city shrinking at such an incredibly fast rate, population-wise, tax-wise, and all. What we have is an increasingly poor city, less than half the size of its peak, paying for the infrastructure of a city of nearly 2 million people. Seriously, why would anyone want to work for the city, anymore?
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Mjb3
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Username: Mjb3

Post Number: 127
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Remember that thing called "the land bank"
KK and Granholm said this would allow the city to have clear title to all property deeds and either tear it down or sell it instead of it sitting vacant.

It was modeled after Cleveland's program.

Archer tore down over 20,000 vacant structures. KK has scaled back the program a little, but the city still tears down 2,000 a yr. Problem is they can't keep up, every yr more houses abandoned....
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 831
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Genesee County has a land bank, too.
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 74
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 7:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If I want to purchase a lot or building which city department do I need to contact?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 754
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 8:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Terry cintact the city planning at development department. They list a lot of their homes, though there are others through the State, County and foreclosure brokers.
http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/pl andevl/realestate/default.htm

Actually, under Archer, the number of vacant structures removed never quite got that high.

http://www.semcog.org/Data/BuildingPermits/index.htm

(note, scroll to Detroit and select)
Since, 1969, the highest was in 1996 under Archer (just over 6,300). The second highest number of demos was in in 1988 under Young (3,300; note this was years after Poletown was constructed, but might have something to do with Jefferson Assembly). The third and fourth were also under Young in the 70's.

(Message edited by Detroitplanner on January 15, 2007)
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 76
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 8:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks.
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 217
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2007 - 11:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner, how many vacant structures are there currently in the city?
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 761
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 12:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heck if I know, by the time you are done counting them, the number is out of date, with folks moving into some and others being abandoned at a constant rate.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5043
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 12:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well,

The 2000 Census counted 38,668 vacant housing units in the city, at the time, which was 10.3% of the total number of housing units. But, that's only housing units.

In comparison (Random Midwest Choices):

1. National Rate: 9%
2. Chicago: 7.9%
3. Cleveland: 11.7%
4. Columbus: 7.8%
5. Cincinnati: 10.8%
6. Indianapolis: 9.2%
7. Milwaukee: 6.8%
8. Minneapolis: 3.7%
9. Buffalo: 15.7%
10. St. Louis: 16.8%

The last two aren't usually considered Midwestern by definition, but share a lot of the same characteristics with the other cities mentioned.

(Message edited by lmichigan on January 16, 2007)
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Pinewood73
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Username: Pinewood73

Post Number: 6
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 7:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The last time I checked the SEMCOG population estimates the number was closer to 60,000 vacant housing units.

With about 1000 people leaving the city each month, multiply that by 12 months in a year and divide by 2.77 people per housing unit, that means that an additional 4000+ units become vacant each year.
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Drankin21
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Username: Drankin21

Post Number: 49
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 7:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"This is a little off topic but what other event besides NAIAS at COBO has complained about space issues."

Sorry for the off-topic response.

It's not a matter of just the NAIAS complaining about space (which they do) it's the amount of additional conventions that we COULD get if we had more space. There are many shows (including in my industry) where a million square feet is the minimum to be considered.
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Ro_resident
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Username: Ro_resident

Post Number: 187
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 8:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A professor at UM wrote an article in the Journal of the American Planning Association comparing the Cleveland and Detroit landbanks.

For various political and legal issues, the Detroit landbank has not been successful. (Yeah, what don't you know. Sorry, but is has been a while since I read the article, so I don't remember specifics.)

Dewar, Margaret. (2006). Selling tax-reverted land: Lessons from Cleveland and Detroit. Journal of the American Planning Association, 72(2), 167-180
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Kronprinz
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Username: Kronprinz

Post Number: 12
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 9:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Someone in another topic suggested the city develop much of this vacant land to park space. What a great idea. It would increase the value of the homes near the park as well. Maybe the NATIONAL park service could get involved. Rosa Parks National Park and Urban Refuge.
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Ltorivia485
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Username: Ltorivia485

Post Number: 2857
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 3:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anyone think that the housing lots should expand? I'm not talking McMansion style, but I notice the housing lots in Grosse Pointe are a lot bigger (for larger homes) than the houses in Detroit. Still urban living.

People want extra space, which includes a 2-3 car garage and somewhat large front yard. The 1950s Detroit housing model is antiquated.
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Cman710
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Username: Cman710

Post Number: 220
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 3:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was wondering myself about this, when someone made a post about a Detroit block that has completely maintained its housing, while behind all the houses there were empty lots. Why not give the people who own the houses a chance to own the lot behind their homes? It seems that if people were willing to buy the lots, they might at least maintain them and the city could make a little bit of money.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 771
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pinewood, where on the SEMCOG website are these total abandoned housing units? I can't find that.

Cancel that, I found it. Going by SEMCOG's #'s you are averaging about 2,700 units additional units per year.

(Message edited by Detroitplanner on January 16, 2007)

(Message edited by Detroitplanner on January 16, 2007)
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5044
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One must take into account, though, some of these additional vacant units are being demolished.
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Pinewood73
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Username: Pinewood73

Post Number: 7
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 5:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroitplanner- glad you found the site.

You now have me confused, how did you come up with 2700?

Thanks
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Jasoncw
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 324
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 6:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The problem with turning the lots into city owned parks is that they cost a lot of money to maintain, which the city doesn't have. The only difference is that it would be a grassy lot that no one maintains that you're supposed to go into, instead of a grassy lot that no one maintains that you're not supposed to go into. Parks don't magically increase land value either.

As far as larger parks go, there quite aren't enough abandoned stretches of land to make a big park out of.

But I do think that now is the time the plan ahead for parks and other things like that. It's like parts of the city have a clean slate to do whatever it wants to with.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 775
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - 7:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I took the 2007 number of abandoned houses and subtracted the 2000 number of abandoned houses, then divided by seven (for year). It was an average.

We are talking estimated data for 2007, with probably an under-count from the 2000 census, and a relatively simplified methodology. Anyway you slice it, its a shows a problem.
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Beavis1981
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Username: Beavis1981

Post Number: 48
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

anybody remember "holla at the mayor"? it was a morning radio show on 105.9 or 97.9 where citizens of detroit could call in and "holla" at the mayor (it was during kwames more immature days) anyways some lady called in one morning and started asking what was being done about all the abandoned houses kwame assured her that he was on it and the city was doing what it could he quoted a price of about $5000 a house that sounded like crap at the time until I did some demolition work myself water/fire repair (BTW black mold is a scam) and now I think that is easily a conservative estimate. so then the lady asked if trades people in the neighborhood could take it into their own hands and he calmly talked her out of it once again I thought he was full of it until I became partners in a floor sanding business (there is a lot of bases you have to cover when you work on property that is not your own) we have had to have upwards of $10 million in insurance just to work on a historic mansion off miller road in flint plus the contract, stain approval sheets, and have written oks from 3 different people! and the job was only worth $5,500! now granted you would'nt have to go through this much for a dilapidated crack house but there is still a butt-load of liability the only good thing is I think most of detroit's housing stock is pre-asbestos (someone correct me if I'm wrong)
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8164
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any extra efforts need to be put in for homes that have lead [aint?
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Beavis1981
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Username: Beavis1981

Post Number: 50
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 1:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

not really just wear a decent respirator about $30 as long as it does'nt get in you lungs or mouth you are good people have been handling bullets for years with no ill effects
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Pinewood73
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Username: Pinewood73

Post Number: 8
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 6:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm not sure how old Detroit's housing stock is, but I think there has got to be a boatload of houses that were built in the 1920's when Detroit's population exploded.

Heck I grew up on one of them.

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