Up close: 8 most abandoned neighborhoods in Detroit

Abandoned house
By Steve Neavling

Eight neighborhoods in Detroit have been so ravaged by crime, foreclosures, fires and scrappers that more than a third of the homes and businesses are abandoned, according to recently released findings from an unprecedented survey of every Detroit parcel.

Many of the areas have been consumed by thick brush, collapsing houses and discarded tires.

A quarter of the city’s houses and buildings are vacant, according to the survey led by the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force and Motor City Mapping. Below is a ranking of neighborhoods with the highest percentage of vacant homes and buildings.

8. Brightmoor

% of unoccupied buildings: 34.2%
# of unoccupied buildings: 1,636

In the 1920s, Brightmoor was a neighborhood of modest homes for working-class immigrants and southerners who came to Detroit for auto jobs. But residential flight over the past five decades has turned some of the neighborhood into an urban prairie, making it an ideal location for small farms. The area, however, is rife with violent crime.

Via Data Driven Detroit










7. Burbank

% of unoccupied buildings: 34.4%
# of unoccupied buildings: 2,377

Large swaths of this neighborhood are vacant and burned out, with deteriorating commercial strips along E. 7 Mile and a section of Hayes. Dominated by modest houses built in the 1920s and ’30s, the east-side neighborhood was predominately white until the 1980s. It is now the youngest neighborhood in Detroit, with 25% of its population under the age of 18, according to the 2010 census.

Via Data Driven Detroit


6. Ravendale

% of unoccupied buildings: 35.5%
# of unoccupied buildings: 2,512

Bordering a blighted stretch of Gratiot to the west, this neighborhood has a lot of bungalows and other middle-income homes built primarily in the 1920s. The abandonment changes drastically by the block, with some streets lined with empty lots and crumbling houses. East Outer Drive has managed to remain relatively occupied.

Via Data Driven Detroit

Ravendale15. State Fair

% of unoccupied buildings: 35.6%
# of unoccupied buildings: 933

Just south of the old Michigan State Fairgrounds, this small neighborhood sprang up in the late 1910s and early 1920s and is bordered by 8 Mile to the north and Woodward to the west. It has a variety of single family homes. The vast empty lots have made this a prime spot for dumping.

State Fair
Via Data Driven Detroit

State Fair

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