Tag Archives: detroit ghetto news

michael brown protesters blocking freeway in detroit

Michael Brown Protesters Block I-75 In Detroit

Last evening, 5 protesters were detained when they blocked I-75 near Mack Ave in protest of the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson. At one time, there were about 100 people in the freeway during rush hour. Detroit police responded by moving protesters out of the freeway and restoring the flow of traffic. Numerous other protests erputed throughout the city, at locations including Greektown, Campus Martius, I-94 and Gratiot and others.

Protests such as these have been popping up all over he country since Monday night, following the lead of the protests in Ferguson, MO.

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taxi house heidelberg prject detroit

Heidelberg Project’s ‘Taxi House’ Latest Arson Victim

Fox2Detroit Reports that another house that is part of the Heidelberg Project on Detroit’s east side burned early Sunday morning.

The “Taxi House,” which is located on Mount Elliot Street near Elba Place is the latest house to burn in a recent string of fires.

The Heidelberg Project has boosted security in the area following the suspicious fires that started last year.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

The Heidelberg Project released the following statement Sunday morning on their Facebook page:

We just broke the news to Tyree that another Heidelberg home had been set on fire overnight, marking the twelfth time an art installation     in the two-block area has been     and primarily wooden construction.

We are thankful for the hard work of the Detroit Fire Department to contain and extinguish the blaze before the entire structure was     engulfed. As of now, we don’t know much     about the fire and are still trying to learn as much as we can.

This fire comes only one year after a string of arson attacks destroyed four HP homes in less than one month. As we have been taking     time to reflect on that chaotic period,     we have been repeatedly reminded of the love we received from all of you. Thank you all for     your support as we continue to face this negative force; spirits are high. We know one thing better than ever: ‘You can’t burn a vision.’

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detroit real estate blight homes

Detroit Real Estate: Super Blowout Sale! $3 Million For 6,000 Homes

Three million dollars can barely buy a new townhouse in Brooklyn these days, but it could be enough to purchase a bundle of more than 6,000 foreclosures up for auction in Detroit.

The cost of dealing with the many blighted buildings included in the Detroit mega-auction means a $3.2 million bid received last week—roughly the minimum allowable bid of $500 per property—will likely prove too high to turn a profit. “I can’t imagine that you are going to make money on this,” says David Szymanski, chief deputy treasurer of Wayne County, which is selling the properties.

So it’s all the more mysterious that the auction, opened with little fanfare earlier this month, has attracted any bidder at all. Still, at least one unidentified party is willing to pay $3.2 million take control—and responsibility—for scores of dilapidated homes. In fact, winning the bid could cost the lucky winner a small fortune beyond the auction price.
Story: Can Detroit Keep Empty Lots From Becoming Eyesores Again?

Finding a way to deal with Detroit’s blight is critical for the city’s future. A task force has already called for immediately tearing down 10 percent of all structures. The group surveyed the condition of every Detroit property and identified neighborhoods at a tipping point at which stripping them of blight could keep certain areas from slipping away entirely.

“I had cancer 12 years ago, and this is exactly like cancer,” Szymanski says. “If you don’t get it all, it’s going to come back.”

Wayne County has become a major owner of blighted properties, which it can seize when owners fall behind on taxes. The scale of its distressed holdings is unprecedented. When Szymanski joined the treasurer’s office four years ago, he called the treasurer of Cuyahoga County in Ohio to compare notes. His counterpart, whose domain includes Cleveland and was a bellwether during the housing crisis, asked: “Are you sitting down? We are foreclosing on 4,500 properties.” Szymanski says he replied: “I hope you’re laying down.” At the time, Wayne County had 42,000 properties in foreclosure.

buy these homes in real estate blowout sale

The numbers have become only more staggering. This year alone, Wayne County has started foreclosure proceedings on 56,000 properties, with about 20,000 of them headed for auction. In 2015 county officials expect to foreclose on an additional 75,000 parcels.

In the past, these have been sold off individually or in small batches. That method didn’t always go well. More than three-quarters of the buyers soon fell behind on taxes, starting the cycle all over again. In 2011, as the Detroit News reported, some buyers were falling behind on taxes and going through foreclosures, only to repurchase their former properties—now cleansed of the back taxes. The county has since changed the rules.

Discussion among county and city officials about trying a bulk sale of Detroit’s least-desirable real estate never yielded results until after Detroit’s current mayor, Mike Duggan, was elected in 2013. But before the properties can be transferred to the city, which can offer them at lower prices, the law requires a county-level auction.
Story: A Call to Tear Down 10 Percent of Detroit’s Buildings, Right Now

“The idea was that no one would buy it,” Szymanski explains, so they would pass on to the city to handle. A closer look at the so-called blight bundle (PDF) created for the auction makes it clear why that auction is no bargain. The parcel includes roughly 3,000 properties that need to be torn down, plus some 2,000 empty lots, plus about 1,000 homes that are believed to hold some value. Everything is sold as is: The homes may lack furnaces or wiring and they may come with mold, tenants, or both.

To top it off, a condition of the auction requires the buyer to demolish the rundown buildings within six months—something Szymanski estimates will cost about $24 million.

Yet someone actually wants to buy the whole blight bundle. A single qualified bidder—Szymanski can’t reveal any details because the auction is still open—came forward and cleared the minimum bid. “It could be—and this is all speculation—that the people who are bidding on it are altruistic in nature,” Szymanski hints. He believes he has already met representatives of the group behind the $3.2 million offer, but he can’t say for sure.

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map showing the racial segregation of detroit michigan

Detroit is the Most Segregated City in the US, According to the 2010 Census

I recently read an article on the most segregated cities in the United States, and guess what? Detroit was number one. Not too surprising. If you’ve ever driven across 8 Mile you’d know. Or, cross Alter or Mack road from Grosse Pointe into Detroit. There are several youtube videos that show the stark contrast of the Detroit/Grosse Point Border… multi-million dollar mansions on one side, crack houses on the other. Search wiki for “Alter Rd”… they refer to it as somewhat of a “Berlin Wall” separating communities. The point is, when you cross into Detroit, you know it. Segregation apparently has not changed much in the last several decades according to reports from the 2010 US Census.

The map measured segregation in major cities with a dissimilarity index, which identifies the percentage of one group that would have to move to a different neighborhood to eliminate segregation. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered extreme.

The 21 most segregated cities in the US are as follows:

[table id=1 /]

Here’s a picture of Detroit’s segregation map. I drew a general outline around the border of Detroit so the map makes more sense to you out-of-towners.

detroit segregation map

And here’s another map taken from google maps showing the actual borders of Detroit.

Detroit City Map

You can read the complete Census report on segregation here: http://www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Data/Report/report2.pdf

I found it kind of funny that in the report, they actually referred to cities in the Northeast and Midwest as the “Ghetto Belt” because of their unusually high black-white segregation numbers. So there’s a new term for ya… now you can say you live in the Ghetto Belt!

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