Detroit gets $42M to fight blight, will expand demo efforts

- The city of Detroit is getting a big boost to fight blight - $42 million in federal aid to tear down abandoned houses.

Blighted, run down homes are in Virgil Page's Detroit neighborhood. It's an eyesore Page says she has been forced to deal with for way too long.  She says not only do the homes attract crime, they are also embarrassing.

"When I have friends coming over, the houses look so bad, I tell them a round-about way to come here," said Page, the president of the Syracuse-Robinwood Block Club.

The city has been working to tear down eyesores. Now thanks to $42 million approved by the federal and state governments, demolition will soon expand to many more neighborhoods including Page's street on Syracuse.

"I'm happy ... but I'll be happier when it's done," Page said.

"This expansion really gets in some areas hardest hit as far as abandonment and in need of demolition across city," said Garry Bullock the District 3 Manager.

City officials say the areas colored in blue identify the new areas that have been included in the hardest hit demolition program.

Residents can expect to see work start in the next 60 days.

They also say with the newly approved boundary expansion of more than 1,200 demolitions will take place in neighborhoods where federal dollars were not allowed to be used previously.

"So the mayor's overall goal through his administration is to make sure every square footage of area where there is abandoned homes have opportunity for that federal use," Bullock said.

If you live near a blighted home and don't see your area on the map city officials say give them a call

"Call district manager or mayor's office and talk to the staff because we're putting together plans on how to address this," Bullock said.

And more resources to help rid blight in Detroit are on the way, thanks to $188 million from a federal program awarded to the state.

"We're hopeful we'll get another 50-plus million so that will give us another 4,000 more homes," Bullock said.

"I feel safer for my family," said one resident. "As long as this goes, everything is alright."

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