Non-Profit Continues Blight Fight in Brightmoor
- Jan 24, 2014
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
The Detroit Blight Authority, a public-private initiative funded in 2013 and led by Bill Pulte, managing partner of private equity fund Pulte Capital Partners LLC, is moving forward with its plan to eradicate blight in Detroit.
As recently reported by Crain’s Detroit Business, the nonprofit wants to demolish an additional 21-block area in Brightmoor, one of the neighborhoods that suffered the most from the economic and demographic decline that hit Motor City in recent years.
Estimated to cost between $700,000 and $900,000, the blight removal project is funded by private donations coming from a number of Detroit-based organizations, companies and entrepreneurs such as the DTE Energy Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, and the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.
According to Crain’s, last year the Detroit Blight Authority managed to remove trash and debris from a 14-block area bounded by West Outer Drive and Lyndon and Trinity Streets; the structural blight removal—which targets 67 abandoned buildings—is expected to be complete by the end of May. The second phase of this blight removal project targets the 21-block area bounded by West Outer Drive, Trinity Street and Schoolcraft Road which includes more than 50 blighted buildings. The Detroit Blight Authority is seeking approval from the city Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department before starting tearing down any structures, Crain’s said.
The non-profit’s efforts to remove abandoned and dangerous properties in Detroit’s neighborhoods add to the “Hardest Hit Fund,” a government-funded program that focuses on fighting foreclosures and supporting housing recovery in 18 states—including Michigan—that suffered the most from the foreclosure crisis.