Financial News

  • 28 May 2014, 22:08

Detroit: Eliminating Blight 'Would Cost $850m'

Wiping out the abandoned and decrepit buildings that are the hallmark of bankrupt Detroit could cost nearly $850m (£506m), a report has said.

The study, prepared by a special task force appointed by President Barack Obama, said nearly one in three structures need some form of intervention, including demolition or rehabilitation.

It said about 40,000 needed to be demolished and cleaned up immediately because of their condition.

The $850m is needed just to address neighbourhood blight "in the next few years".

Commercial sites, with their potential for environmental problems, will add $500m (almost £300m) to $1bn (almost £600m) to the total cost.

Mayor Mike Duggan said blight has gone on for years without a "real strategy" and has gotten worse as a result.

"This is a fabulous plan - but it doesn't come with a check," he said, but he added: "Six months ago, there was no strategy and no funding.

"Now, we've got the strategy and we're getting started on the funding."

The study is part of efforts announced last year by the Obama administration to help Detroit, which cited $18bn (£10bn) in long-term debt when it filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

The report was drawn up to help determine which houses and buildings can be saved and which will be torn down.

Advertisement