One woman blight fight: woman gives Detroit demolition deadline

A Detroit woman says she will gladly take matter into her own hands even if it means going to jail to take down two blighted homes in her neighborhood.

Joyce Faunce has been fighting the city of Detroit to tear down the two homes since Kwame Kilpatrick took office. That's three different mayors in office and still, no luck. Two days ago, she contacted FOX 2 and said she would do whatever it takes to take the house, even do it herself.

CLICK HERE to watch our first story with Joyce.

Joyce has worked in construction for 37 years. She told us on Monday that she and her husband had talked about renting a backhoe to destroy the homes. Finally, the city responded.

"So since our first story aired, the city came out and put up this letter essentially saying, if you do anything to this property without their permission you are going to face legal trouble. Does this scare you? No it does not. It doesn't scare me at all. I'm sure they're trying to prove a point but I'm trying to prove one too," Faunce said.

Meanwhile, Fauce says more crime is creeping onto Whitcomb street: fights, rapes, and drugs. Joyce calls these two dilapidated houses, crime scenes waiting to happen.

"It's dangerous. What are you gonna do? Are you going to wait till it caves in on a child? Then you're gonna run out and tear it down?"

She says she was told Wednesday by a city worker, the houses will come down in 30 to 60 days, although she couldn't get them to put it in writing. The houses are among thousands in the city with ownership lawsuits pending, holding up the process, but Joyce says she can't wait any longer.

"I don't think I could live with myself knowing there was nothing I could do to prevent the child from getting hurt," Faunce says that is enough motivation for her to tear them down herself and go to jail.

She's even given the city a deadline: November 10th. That's two months from Thursday. If it happens, she won't be doing it alone. Neighbors have offered to pitch in for a dumpster.

"We can buy the lot and make it into a park or something."

"I try to keep this grass cut, but I haven't been feeling well lately, but I keep the grass cut though."

Ready to rent a backhoe, Joyce hopes the city takes more action soon, giving them an ultimatum.

"It'll make the city look bad if a 62-year-old woman gets a backhoe and tears these houses down. You can lock me up it's going to make you look bad. Either way you go it's going to make you look bad. So we'll see what comes out of it."

So far, city officials have not confirmed with FOX 2, if they plan on tearing the houses down any time soon.

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