Frustrated resident wants to tear down blighted homes herself

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Joyce Fanuce wants two blighted houses torn down on her street and may do it herself.

A Detroit woman is raising a red flag about two dangerous houses on her street.

Joyce Fanuce says the houses attract criminals putting everyone in the neighborhood at risk, and she's ready to take them down herself.

At one time she believed the two abandoned houses on Whitcomb Street would be demolished through Detroit's "hardest hit fund demolition list."  The two houses were put on the city's initial list of 80,000 houses recommended for demolition in 2014. But the houses still stand.

"I've called Mr. Kilpatrick's administration, I called Dave Bing's administration, I've called this administration," she said. "I can't seem to get anything done."

Joyce has worked in construction for 37 years, and she and her husband have discussed renting a backhoe and leveling the houses themselves - even if it means jail time.

"I've never even had a parking ticket so I really don't want to go to jail, but that's the only other solution I can think of," she said. "That's how serious I am. 37 years in construction I do know how to take this house down.

"I've been complaining about this for years and nothing is getting done. A child could walk up in this home and stop the wrong way and this whole house will cave in."

Neighbors are rallying behind her.

"I'm really frustrated about this house," said Mario Greene. "Because I've seen people coming out of the house that shouldn't even be in the house. I don't think it should be standing.

"Kids walk up and down the street (past them) going to school in the morning."

The location is very close to the places on Mansfield Street where a few couples were robbed, and the women, raped.

A spokesperson for the city of Detroit said both houses are in the early stages of lawsuits. One is owned by a bank, the other, a private owner. Both cases are likely to take some time, but Joyce says, there's no more time to lose.

"Where do I get the help from," she said. Who's going to help me? Are you going to wait until a child gets raped in here are a child gets killed? Then I'll get a bunch of help then. It'll be too late."

Joyce's last hope, is someone will see this story and know of any quick and legal way to help before she decides if she'll risk taking matters into her own hands.

"We have a nice street we want to keep it nice," she said.