Gov. Snyder to rescue? Plan targets abandoned houses

If Gov. Rick Snyder gets his way, the state will help Mayor Dave Bing demolish abandoned houses in Detroit, his office said Friday.

Abandoned homes are among the most nagging problems in Detroit because they attract crime, rodents and fires and drive down property values. By many estimates, about a quarter of the homes in Detroit are abandoned. That’s roughly 100,000 houses.

And there’s no evidence that the residential exodus is letting up, which means more houses will be left to banks, the city and others who fail to keep up the property.

Houses that are abandoned for a only few days in many neighborhoods are gutted by metal thieves, called scrappers.

Snyder’s office said details will be released later. It’s unclear how the plan would be financed or how many houses would be demolished.

Mayor Dave Bing plans to demolish at least 10,000 houses during his first term.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.