Ever since the city of Detroit filed bankruptcy, I have been following articles outlining the city’s bankruptcy time-line and post-bankruptcy plans. Unfortunately, some of the recent articles I have read make me wonder if Detroit will ever be a major industry city again.
I am originally from Detroit so I am praying that the city can turn itself around. One of the first things I would like to see addressed is all the abandoned and boarded-up houses. In just about every part of the city there are homes with boarded up windows and missing doors. This makes it very difficult for the homeowners in the neighborhood who work hard to keep up their property. No matter how hard you work to keep your property up, if a boarded up home is next door it negatively affects your property too.
In order to address the issue of boarded up and abandoned homes, a program was created that allows people to purchase these homes for very little money. Unfortunately, some of the people who were awarded these homes turned out to be investors. I say unfortunately because once they get the house up to code they rent it out to people who will not take care of the property. This in turn creates a whole new problem. The only thing worse than having an abandoned house next to your home is neighbors who don’t keep up their trash or lawn.
Detroit also had a home purchasing program that allowed people to purchase properties with overdue taxes. This resulted in homes being purchased for as little as $500. However, an audit showed that some of the people purchasing these homes were behind on their own property tax payments. Not sure how the city is going to handle this problem.
Crime is another issue that seems to be getting worse in Detroit. Every time I think the crime in Detroit is decreasing, I see several articles that tell me otherwise. Just a few weeks ago I read an article about two murders and several assaults on the city’s west side. In addition to these crimes, there also seems to be an increase in home break-ins. What makes this such a sad situation (in addition to people losing their lives), is that many of these crimes are being committed by teenagers. Once these teens are arrested they will most likely spend the rest of their lives in prison.
On a positive note, since Detroit filed bankruptcy there has been increased interest from commercial investors and developers. Their main interest seems to be developing commercial properties in the city’s downtown and midtown areas. These developers and investors are banking on Detroit rebounding financially and once again becoming a city that attracts families and young professionals.