Politics

Eradicating Detroit Blight May Cost $2 Billion, Report Says

This Jan. 28, 2010 photo shows the abandoned 3.5-million-square-foot Packard car plant in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
This Jan. 28, 2010 photo shows the abandoned 3.5-million-square-foot Packard car plant in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

 

(Bloomberg) – Clearing Detroit’s vacant and decaying properties would cost about $2 billion, according to the first detailed blight census of the bankrupt city.

The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force found 84,641 properties to be cleared, according to a report issued today. All blight could be removed within five years, the report said.

In his plan to settle Detroit’s bankruptcy, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has proposed spending $500 million over 10 years to remove blight. The population of the 139-square-mile (360 square kilometer) city has fallen to about 700,000 from a peak of about 1.8 million in its auto-building heyday. Detroit is filled with street after street of houses that once were home to workers and that now are reverting to nature.

“Every neighborhood deserves a future and it doesn’t include blight,” said Linda Smith, who was co-chairwoman of the task force and is executive director of U-Snap-Bac Community Development Corp., a non-profit housing assistance organization.

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