New task force working to fight Detroit blight - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

New task force working to fight Detroit blight, counting exact number of abandoned buildings

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

In a city full of abandoned houses and vacant commercial buildings, a new task force is working to fight blight in Detroit.

Groups of surveyors are going to Detroit neighborhoods to count exactly how many buildings are blighted and abandoned.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the story in a report from Fox 2's Amy Lange, or read the story below
________

Motor City Mapping - the magnets are going on the cars, the surveyors are in training and teams are getting ready to hit the streets. Their goal is to count Detroit's tens of thousands of burned out, abandoned buildings.

"We know that there's a lot of blighted properties around the city but we don't know - is that 50,000? Is that 70,000? No one's ever gone and counted this and so that's what this project aims to do," explains Sean Jackson, an executive associate at Rock Ventures.

"I'm able to see exactly what we're impacting and actually having a position that I can be impactful in - so I think it's great," says Kevin Irwin II, a surveyor from Quicken Loans.

Surveyors, like Irwin, are all Detroit residents. 75 teams of three will spread out throughout the city in search of blight. They won't have to go far as it's clearly one of Detroit's biggest problems.

"The elimination of blight is essential to the revitalization of the city. We will not be able to look at our neighborhoods and see them as strong and vital if they continue to be blighted," says Dr. Glenda Price. She is one of the co-chairs of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force along with U-SNAP-BAC nonprofit housing executive director, Linda Smith, and Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures.

Dr. Price continues, "We want to stabilize neighborhoods. We want to make them attractive for people to move into and for people to stay."

And that effort has support from many community groups all the way to the U.S. government, and so many businesses in between. The surveyors will be using Android tablets to capture photos and information about blighted residential and commercial properties. And, starting now, they'll be hard at work building that database in a neighborhood near you.

The surveyors hope to have the mapping done by the end of January. Then those numbers will be used to formulate a plan. Moving forward, the Blight Task Force hopes to have the blight eradicated in three years.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • General Motors profit declines 85% in 2Q

    General Motors profit declines 85% in 2Q

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:43 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:43:10 GMT
     General Motors says second-quarter profit fell 85 percent as recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from the bottom line.
     General Motors says second-quarter profit fell 85 percent as recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from the bottom line.
  • Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:48:56 GMT
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
  • Rehabilitation grants available for auction homes

    Rehabilitation grants available for auction homes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:45:20 GMT
    Homes eligible for $25,000 in forgivable rehabilitation grants are going on sale in a west side Detroit neighborhood. An online auction by the city's Land Bank Authority begins Thursday for eight houses in the Marygrove area.
    Homes eligible for $25,000 in forgivable rehabilitation grants are going on sale in a west side Detroit neighborhood. An online auction by the city's Land Bank Authority begins Thursday for eight houses in the Marygrove area.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices