The city will use federal funds to buy and rehab vacant homes in targeted neighborhoods, says Mayor Dave Bing. It's part of a strategy to cope with a shrinking Detroit and to battle blight.
Density is not a problem in Detroit. In fact, the city's populace is spread so thinly that local leaders want people to move closer together, so that public services can be delivered more efficiently and so that neighborhoods are busily vibrant rather than eerily empty.
Detroit took a big step toward that end Thursday, announcing it would use federal funds to try to steer residents into certain neighborhoods – not yet identified – that city planners see as economically and aesthetically viable.
Mayor Dave Bing said he hopes to redirect residents into seven to nine economically stable neighborhoods that have not yet lapsed into full blight. Using the federal money, Detroit will buy and rehab vacant homes in those areas, in a bid to appeal to residents living elsewhere who may be hesitant to move there and to offset the effects of rising unemployment and foreclosures.
“We want to make sure that, before those neighborhoods deteriorate much more, we give them support,” Mayor Bing told the Detroit Free Press.