Detroit speeds up abandoned house demolition pace

Crystal O'Donnell is happy to welcome a bulldozer into her neighborhood as it finishes tearing down an abandoned home on her street.

"There's a lot more houses that need to come down, there's kids that play in the area and it's not safe for the kids," said the Detroit resident.

City officials say the process of erasing blighted, abandoned homes is not slowing down - despite reports of squatters hindering the process. 

"Detroit as a whole may have some issues with squatting but not seeing it in demolition process," said Brian Farkas of the Detroit Building Authority.

In fact, Farkas says the process is on the fast track.

"In the past several months we've done over 2,000 structures," he said. "We've gone from 200 a month to 200 a week."

Farkas says more work means more job opportunities.

"We've got a lot of work coming down the pipeline," Farkas said. "We encourage Detroiters if they want to be employed in this process, to go to Detroit Employment Solutions, we've got contractors hiring Detroiters day in and day out."

Demolition crews working to keep up with the steady work agree, the real issue is not squatting. 

"That's the biggest challenge," he said. "Making it a safe work place for not only workers but community as well."

And if you live next to one of the sites, that lot could be yours and the price won't break your bank.

"They can buy the side lot at BuildingDetroit.org for $100," Farkas said. "They can buy it."

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories