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Mon Nov 18, 2019, 07:57 AM

$250-Million Bond Proposal Would End Years Of Neighborhood Investment Inequity In Detroit

The author is the group executive for Planning, Housing and Development for the city of Detroit. On Tuesday, the Detroit City Council will consider a $250-million bond proposal to address blight. If approved, the proposal would go before voters in March.

By Arthur Jemison

If there is one thing I hear in every community planning meeting I attend, it is that too many neighborhoods have not been able to participate in the blight removal and investment in rehabilitation we are seeing in others. Neighbors ask “why can you demolish on this side of the street and not that one? Why can’t we rehab this house? When will we be able to move the boundaries?”

In the Russell Woods - Nardin Park Neighborhoods, for example, the City recently completed a neighborhood plan, yet residents in these adjacent neighborhoods experience two very different realities. The Russell Woods area is strong and stable, having had many of its vacant houses demolished using federal Hardest Hit Funds (HHF), which created a better climate for other vacant homes to be renovated and reoccupied. Meanwhile, Nardin Park, which falls outside of the federal demolition funding boundaries, has seen little demolition and little progress. And as long as this blight remains, Nardin Park’s future is less bright.

As a solution, the Mayor has proposed a $250-million bond program that would allow all of that money to be spent addressing blight in these neglected neighborhoods through a combination of both demolition and incentivized renovation. This would end this long-standing inequity that has existed for years.

Thanks to our improved financial condition, we have a once in a generation opportunity to fix this problem with the $250 million Blight Bond proposed by Mayor Mike Duggan and under consideration by Detroit City Council.

Read more: http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/23727/opinion_250-million_bond_proposal_would_end_years_of_neighborhood_investment_inequity_in_detroit

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