Detroit residents who have been living next to blighted homes now have a powerful new tool that lets them know up to 90 days in advance when vacant houses near them will be torn down.
The city’s new online [www.detroitmi.gov/demolition%20]Demolition Tracker map lists not only the more than 9,500 structures demolished since January 2014, it also includes more than 700 addresses currently under contract for demolition that will come down in the next few months. The map is updated daily as houses are razed and others are placed under contract for demolition.
The new map will let anyone track the nation’s largest demolition program, which has been awarded more than a quarter-billion dollars by the U.S. Treasury Department and Michigan State Housing Development Authority – $130 million in the last two months alone. In 2014, the city took down 4,000 vacant buildings. This year, the city will take down 5,000 dangerous structures and 6,000 more in 2017.
How it works
The Demolition Tracker map, which has been in development for more than a year, can be accessed through the City of Detroit website at www.detroitmi.gov/demolition. Residents using the Demolition Tracker can simply type in any address in Detroit into the search bar to see what demolitions already have taken place and which houses are under contract for demolition and when they are projected to be knocked down.
The map displays a blue dot for every house that has come down since January 2014. As of today, that number is 9,524. By clicking any one of those dots, visitors can see the address, actual knock down date, contractor and cost of the demolition.
Every house that is under contract and scheduled for demolition is displayed with an orange dot. As of today, there are 708 shown on the map. Clicking any one of those dots will display the address, anticipated knock-down date, the contractor selected through the competitive bidding process, and the bid amount for that particular demolition.
As houses are demolished, the dots will change from orange to blue. As more houses are contracted for demolition, new orange dots will be added to the Demolition Tracker.
The new map was met with cheers from longtime residents like Daisy Maisonet and Ramon Perez. They live on a tidy block of Navy street in southwest Detroit, but next to two dangerous vacant houses that have been there for years. When they found out through the Detroit Demolition Tracker that both houses were scheduled to come down today, they were thrilled and immediately started making plans to purchase and landscape the side lots through the City, once the demolition is completed.
“I would love to plant some trees, like apples and peaches, so I can give some to my neighbors,” Perez said.