Detroit's demo disaster: Blame it on the dirt

The city of Detroit has been awarded another $21 million from the federal government to fight blight.

That's your money, your mom's money, and everyone you know, whether they pay taxes in Michigan or not, they're paying for the influx of cash as City Hall scrambles to explain soaring costs and questionable contracts.

The price of tearing down a house in Detroit has ballooned. We've already covered that with several exclusive stories with Mayor Mike Duggan as he and his office tried to explain where the money went.

Duggan put the blame on the cost of trucking prices to deliver clean fill to the neighborhoods and to fix broken sidewalks. Dirt is what Duggan said is the reason costs skyrocketed from $10,000 per house to $20,000 Contractors have to drive a long way to find dirt.

But there's dirt available. Detroit Dirt. And Charlie LeDuff found it.

Now, the city's got $21 million more reasons to tear down homes. Duggan says that's proof the city is doing a great job, however, that money has been in the works for some time.

Officials from both HUD and the Department of Treasury - who partner in this federal demolition program - tell us they don't think the prices should be this high and are 'monitoring the situation.'

Mayor Duggan says the city will try some things to bring prices down and will now post bid winners for demolitions and the prices on-line, starting next month

He says the latest batch of houses to be demolished should cost on average about $14,000.
 

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