Delray residents offered relocation as Canada bridge project proceeds
DETROIT (WJBK) - With construction set to begin on the Gordie Howe international bridge next year, residents in Detroit's Delray neighborhood have been worried what it will mean for them.
On Friday morning, Mayor Mike Duggan announced a new plan for more money, jobs and community improvement.
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"We're not saying we're done. We've got tons of details to work out. We've got lots of issues to work together, there's going to be a lot of intense meetings, but one thing I'm sure of is we're all going to sit in a room and solve them because we're committed," he said.
To provide new opportunities, $48 million dollars will be invested into the area.
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Delray residents will also be offered an option to upgrade their living situation and move into newly renovated homes and spaces outside of the neighborhood.
"There are some other neighborhoods in the city where folks might like to have this option. As far as I know, nobody in the country has tried this," Duggan said. "We have to prove that we can renovate eight houses a month and move families. That's the game plan -- is to renovate eight houses a month, and try move eight families a month for the next three years."
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Pastor of the First Latin American Baptist church Kevin Casillas will be taking up the opportunity to move to another location in southwest Detroit.
"We've been in our current location since the 1960s and the building has a lot of memories," he said. "From what we understand it's going to be destroyed. In its place, they're going to be putting the overpass connections to I-75."
Other home owners are also expressing interest.
The city will be putting a real estate office in the neighborhood soon to handle everyone migrating out of here. As soon as that's up and running, they'll be meeting with residents to answer questions.
About 240 families will be approved to move into improved housing -- though many are still choosing to stay put in Delray, hoping not to be pushed out. But Casillas believes this is a good step in the right direction.
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"This is a win for the community, but there are still things that we are going to continue to advocate for with the different decision makers and stake holders involved. This is just another phase in the fight that we've been participating in for the past decade," he said.