| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Houses & Apartments


This is style playground It didn’t used to look like this. This was a big part of my life clothes Like I can see my creations coming to life and I really liked it I was working with a group of adults that thought I didn’t know what I was doing until they gave me the tools and they Decided to put the slide on Backwards and I told her before to put it on the right way Then when I listened to me until the main people that work here told it was on backwards So I stopped helping them after that and I went to go help somebody else on the swings Well, this is what Chicago over here and this is st Susan and it’s a very known on community Building we do a lot of programs in it I go to school here and I work here and I have another program that I do here so a lot of things are going on in this the place that we hurt right now is a Joy joy Road and Southfield Like what you wouldn’t know about it. How deep is the safe corner? What’s the history of this area? Well, if you can see the murder back behind us not not a very very safe place I really don’t know much about joy road because I Never could go to the joy road actually I never crossed the train tracks so Good evening everyone I Am Skylar pounds and my name is monisha Davenport Okay, how many of you are concerned about the quality of houses and properties in our neighborhood? Most of you right? Okay. It’s so good some good blocks in our neighborhood The laws are made up there are places for little kids to play These houses might be small, but the people that live inside keep the mutts apart and keep them really nice Right live, it’s good because I’m closer to my family I live by a grocery store a laundromat and my school on the street So basically everything is accessible and I coop walking distance Is bad blocks – such as trash is on the ground And the buildings are a bad day like the houses and stuff are boarded up Where I live our landlord came out not too long ago, and we show him the walls and how they falling apart every since then he’s just come he just keeps Accident never fixes anything he comes around only when the Bills have to be paid Actually, I don’t even know They’re our landlord lives near us. I also see a lot of abandoned houses getting knocked down in our neighborhood But some just stayed that way for a long time once we became neighborhood investigators We would have all asked questions and learned about right the houses and properties and our neighborhoods are this way We ask the questions like who decides? To knock down houses and keep them up why our houses in our community all of us were Lords Why do we have to he pays high rent for bad houses? Do we think our homes are safe your kids a teenager well This map here is interesting because it shows that the black marks are owned by people outside of our neighborhood nearly half of our neighborhood are owned by people or companies not in our ZIP code in our houses are owned this map shows the Most of the buildings in our neighborhoods are built sometimes in 40s and 50s Besides looking at many maps. We reached out to people who know a lot about houses and apartments like mr Rodriguez and Miss Maggie mcgrill they are DL ba also known as the Detroit land bank Authority Detroit lam big Authority. We oversee the city’s residential properties. Currently the city has about 95 thousand under 95,000 Parcels of land and we’re the largest land bank in the state and probably even in the country the land bank came about because there was a need to have all of the city’s residential properties in one location and We were staffed we started out five years ago. There was maybe 30 35 employees. Here we have over 150 now Because we had gone from maybe 17,000 to like I said before up to 95,000 our primary focus is making sure the properties that are salvageable are put back into productive use Sidelights the vacant lots next to somebody’s home we sell $400 that doesn’t sound like a lot we get about $50 each a year in property taxes as Of today, we’ve sold 11,000 68 side Lots that’s over five hundred fifty thousand dollars now coming into the city by way of property taxes That was not there before The same with the houses once we get a house torn down that’s blighted property values go up anywhere from four to seven percent that day and they only continue to increase between 2013 and 18 property values in Detroit not downtown or Midtown but in the neighborhoods have increased by 97 So these are things that we try to let people know that it’s a powerful thing to own your own home It’s great to live here in rent We have great landlords, but we also have some problems with slum Lords and they don’t really take care of their properties But they’re always collecting money We would rather have those tenants Become homeowners and way the way we do that is make the houses available through our sales programs we will be considered what’s called quasi government, which means that we will be beholden and we’re under the authority of the mayor quasi government And that’s what I’m explaining. Give me a second Quasi government means you’re not exactly a city or government department, but you that’s where your funding comes from. That’s where your Rulings come from we work very closely with the mayor as well as the city council in the city of Detroit They have authorization over we have a board of directors and we have an executive director But we take our direct leadership from the mayor’s office because this is a strong mayoral run City The Oba owns one of five houses and properties in our neighborhood This is what we do every day the first thing I would ask them is if their tenants to just add up the amount of money they pay in rent and The fact that they’re paying money to someone else for the privilege of living in their house as opposed to owning their own Like I said before if you want to paint the walls You have to get permission you want to hang a picture or change the carpet you have to get permission you don’t do that in your own and Having a home of your own is equity now we know these houses need a lot of work and we let them know Beforehand even let them know they’re lenders on our website that will help them fund a purchase and rehab of a house But we make no mistake. We know this is a heavy lift. It’s going to take some work and we have Detroit contractors We just had a contractor workshop Just last Saturday where we’re trying to get Detroit contractors work you don’t have to go outside of the city to get roofers and People that can do plumb electrical work. So we see this as not just putting the house back into productive use But we’re creating jobs We’re creating new homeowners, and we’re stabilizing neighborhoods when people are moving in and out from tenant to tenant to tenant You don’t know who’s moving in there? But if somebody has bought it and they decide to live there that becomes a much stabilized neighborhood We also visited building safety engineering and environmental Departments known as BC there. We met author edge Who is in charge of making sure that houses and properties are demolished safely? My name is Arthur Leon edge. I am a supervisor for the city Detroit building safety environmental engineering division Dangerous buildings. I’m responsible for the blight that is here in our city, and it’s making a difference far as making it safe for Young people like you I’m much older than you all when I was your age I never seen an abandoned building when I Drive around Detroit I see there are some communities that are blighted and I feel that it is my responsibility To make the difference in that to help get this cleaned up I take it personally when I see some of these blighted areas I take it personally because it’s my job first of all And I think about the people that are living in that community So it’s my job to get it cleaned up to make it safe for them I was out there in the streets and I’ve seen it for myself everyday bodies Drug acts that have od’d in the house Why do you think of so many abandoned buildings in Detroit Well, it’s many things one of the main issues was If we go back with the foreclosure issues People walk away from their homes then there was a lot of blight that people have stripped homes and those were the main two issues and then we naturally have some fires cases the fires, but the main thing is that the Few years ago. We had a foreclosure problem and a lot of people walked away from their homes So for the next year where our neighborhood framework we should learn more about how the Lin Bank works Because the rules can be very complicated And we should give better support to small neighborhood developers and contractors who are trying to buy houses and fix them up around our neighborhoods and Maybe young people can be a part of this too We could help fix the porches are some money during it while gaining building Business ills what if at the end of the project we are ready to start our own porch fixing business And for my investigation we learned housing problems are way complex and there’s a lot to learn Miss Linda can’t bail broke it down for us a little bit We believe that all Detroiters have a right to quality and affordable housing based on their income What’s very important for? individuals and families is that you have stable quality housing and if you’re afraid that your rent will increase or your rent is Increasing you’re facing the threat of eviction and you’re having to mula move all the time. That’s really disruptive to a family so we see Quality affordable housing is key We think that blight is important But we have to look at the root cause of blight is why are there so many? Blighted homes in our communities and a lot of that has to do with the housing policies right people can’t afford their homes Many of them lost their homes through no fault of their own and so we’re left You all are left to walk by there every day on your way to school or to the bus stop and look at that when? actually a Lot of that was caused by institutions financial institutions based on greed you know who targeted people for corrupt mortgages and People weren’t able to pay them because people wanted homes, right? So, yes, people are going to take advantage of what they think is a good opportunity Only to find out later on they were sold a bill of goods So that it’s a very sad situation in terms of why blight? exists in our neighborhood a lot of times We just focus on the what like all these most up houses in my neighborhood But we don’t really say why why are there so many messed up neighborhoods in our neighborhood houses in our neighborhoods understanding the why of why there’s so many Vacancies and blighted homes in our community and even now who continues to benefit from that situation you always have to ask yourself why a Situation exists and who’s benefiting who’s benefiting from this condition? in our community and that helps you kind of dig deeper and helps you to develop an analysis and an Understanding, so it’s just not talking about the what which is pretty apparent to all of us we see the what all around us, but the why so if you are interested in discussing more about houses apartments or properties in our neighborhood you Better come take over discussion. We have tables where you can sign up better

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