Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mailbag: Vacant Homes (Part 2)

Jason from the Far West Detroit Civic Association wrote in to ask:
I represent a neighborhood association just west of you, we are having many of the same concerns as your neighborhood it appears (like vacant houses) we are a smaller neighborhood house wise (only 1,268 homes) but about 115 are vacant. I am curious how your organization is dealing with the problem (I saw quite a few on Evergreen between W. Warren and Tireman).
The first thing that the Warrendale Community Organization did is to launch a survey of the neighborhood within its boundaries.* This not only gave us some useful information about how many vacant properties we have but where they are and, most importantly, where the worst ones are.

Any property that is burned out was reported to the City of Detroit's Department of Buildings & Safety Engineering. They are responsible for determining whether or not a property can be salvaged and, if it can't, to see that it's demolished.

Other properties that have various code issues because the property isn't being maintained are reported to Wayne County's Nuisance Abatement Program.

Moving forward, I also have a few idea on how to bring in new homeowners. More details on that will appear on this blog and at the WCO meetings as the details are flushed out.

* As a side note, I need to point out one key detail. For purposes of this blog, I consider both sides of the Southfield Freeway that are south of Joy Rd. to be "Warrendale". The WCO, however, only covers that portion of the neighborhood that is west of the freeway; east of the freeway is the Warren Avenue Community Organization.

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