Duggan: Detroit's war on blighted homes making progress

"Everything in this city has been defined by blight," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in Tuesday's 2019 State of the City Address.

Duggan is not backing down as his administration continues to take on blighted properties that plague the city and its neighborhoods.

"With the support of the federal government and (the Michigan State Housing Development Authority,) we have now demolished 17,000 vacant homes," he said. 

One year ago Duggan pledged to have every abandoned home in the city either renovated, demolished or boarded by the end of 2019.

He revisited that promise during this year's address to let residents know combatting blight remains a top priority 

"We will get over 20,000 demolitions done by the end of the year," Duggan said.

Ray Solomon of city's Department of Neighborhoods says the city is also on target to meet its goal of boarding up blighted properties 

"We are between 14,000 and 16,000 boarded up and the team of (General Services Department) are out there every day," he said.

City officials say 11,000 more board-ups are expected by the end of the year for a total of 27,000.

"The promise was to make sure that there are no more open homes and also through the land bank we are auctioning off three to four houses a day," Solomon said.

Thanks to the demolition and board ups of blighted property, the city says neighborhoods are becoming safer 

"Wayne State University released a report that in the neighborhoods where the demolitions have occurred in the city of Detroit, that the crime has dropped significantly," Duggan said. "We are making some progress "

Residents can request board ups or a demolition of a blighted property by contacting their District Manager  

"You can call (313) 224-3400 to be connected to your district manager or go on the city's website at https://detroitmi.gov/