Sweeping survey of Highland Park reveals sobering reality of abandonment

A new house in Highland Park didn't last long. (Steve Neavling/MCM)
A new house in Highland Park didn’t last long. (Steve Neavling/MCM)

A sweeping survey of every parcel in Highland Park has revealed the extent of erosion in Highland Park’s neighborhoods.

The Motor City Mapping project, which already surveyed every parcel in Detroit, released its sobering findings today for Highland Park.

Among the discoveries:

  • More than a third of the houses and buildings are abandoned.
  • 40% of the 6,344 properties are vacant lots.
  • 71% of the abandoned structures are open to trespass.

Check out the interactive map created by Loveland Technologies, a Detroit-based company that is taking mapping to a new level. The map shows every parcel with findings from the survey.

Highland Park’s population dropped 77% since peaking at 53,000 in 1930 because of the dramatic decline in the local auto industry.

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.

  • Jackie

    Not all landlords in Detroit are slumlords.
    Not all tenants in Detroit are destructive.
    My question the STEP FORWARD MICHIGAN program was created in response to the 2008 housing crisis to help distressed borrowers pay their taxes.
    The Federal government provided $500 million for the program and so far it has assisted about 4,000 distressed homeowners in Wayne County pay a combined total of $40 million in taxes , according to SZYMANSKI (Wayne County Treasurers office.)
    SZYMANSKI said they are touting STEP FORWARD more heavily recently because $200 million left in the program, and county officials FEAR the Federal Government might discontinue the program and reclaim remaining funds.,,,Per DS NEWS.
    The auto companies got a BAIL OUT…..the banks got a BAIL OUT…
    insurance companies got a BAIL OUT…….DISTRESSED HOMEOWNERS NEED A BAIL OUT!
    Property values have plummeted by as much as 90%, and in many cases, the amount of money owed for property tax and the exorbitant penalties and fees which double the amount of delinquency, now the amount of money owed is more than the home is worth.
    However, to the family that has lived there and paid taxes for many years to fall behind during a global recession it means every thing…
    What is the price tag for housing the homeless after foreclosure…
    some one needs to identify this problem and provide a program that will help homeowners and not hoard the money with all kind of rules regulations…STEP FORWARD is failing Wayne county and MICHIGAN
    BY design I am not sure. But some thing is wrong with a program that leaves so many distressed homeowners behind!
    The payment plans thru the County continue to RACK UP FEES AND PENALTIES so it only prolongs and penalizes home owners feeling the effects of a World wide economic downfall. BEFORE FORECLOSURE.

  • falseprophet

    I thought Dan Gilbert said Detroit is on a comeback?

  • shavers313

    Of topic question….Does the city have a master plan?

    • JC

      Apply for grants and pray on Sundays.

      • Antman573

        Just like republicans….go figure

  • marco baroli

    While felon Robert Davis was looting the school system and suing the state, he could have made a difference in his own backyard.

  • OneCanOnlyHope

    Just more of the same; are we really surprised by this. To many blacks in one area gets you nothing but ‘ruins’…..

  • nolimitdetroiter

    Yeah, those houses on Ferris sure didn’t last very long.
    When Chrysler left town in the early 90’s, they paid $44 million in compe nsation…..where did that money go?

    Anyone out there who remembers what HP used to be like?

    • bebow

      Yes, I lived there for a few years in the 1960s.

  • bebow

    Let’s throw up a bunch of those HUD homes all over Detroit’s neighborhoods after the demolition process is started, and Herb’s drones can buzz the New Dopeman as an alternative to providing law enforcement services for Old Detroit. Why not? The plan worked so well in Highland Park, and there are certain dawgs expecting a bone.

    • Dude, it’s eerie how close we’re getting to Robocop sometimes. Luckily, Herbs’s chances of raising funding are somewhere between impossible and laughable.

      • bebow

        His chances of meeting the requirements are even lower.

        • I hate how the local media sticks a camera in front of these clowns and broadcasts the idiocy to every corner of the globe. Charlatans like him are the reason why very few serious investors from outside the area look at Detroit as the opportunity it could be.

          • bebow

            There are a lot of red flags.