The battle over blight in Detroit sees ardent warriors

- The battle over blight in the City of Detroit is a continuing fight, but it has ardent warriors working to improve the conditions for everyone.

A group of committed citizens got together to fight blight last week and the effects are still being felt.

Rosalind Logan says the cleanup has had significant impact on their quality of life.

“They got the tree torn all the way down. I just count my blessings… now they could have a party out here.”

“It’s been a challenge,” Logan said. “It’s been house after house.”

Three houses in the Annchester-Clarita area were abandoned, but have now been rehabbed.

“It’s tough. Something needs to be done,” James Dillard Sr. Block Club President of the Annchester- Clarita neighborhood called Reggie Reg Davis, a former radio DJ who now works for Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration, and leads “Ceasefire Youth Initiative.”

Davis organized the effort and got a group of local comedians involved in the effort.

“We have school kids… even myself… elderly people walk,” Dillard said. “It was so blighted you couldn’t see the houses.”

Davis has become something of an activist.

After his brother Vito Davis was killed in 2001, Reggie says he decided to devote his live to helping kids.

“These properties have been abandoned for more than 2 years and have become complete eyesores endangering our children being open to trespass by criminal elements. Neighbors have also complained about unpleasant odors and overgrown shrubbery around these houses,” said Davis.

Davis said it is his “job” to help. He doesn’t want another family to endure what his endured.

According to the city, since January 2014 the count on abandoned and vacant homes is 40,000. 12,000 have been demolished. 3,000 have been rehabbed.

Over two years the city plans to deal with 25,000 abandoned houses. 9,000 are expected to be demolished. 5,000 are scheduled to be rehabbed and reoccupied through the Land Bank Auction and Nuisance Abatement Programs. There are 11,000 remaining vacant houses to be boarded up within two years.


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