July 16, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Detroit to auction houses seized in anti-blight effort

Detroit — The first houses the city has seized under an ambitious anti-blight campaign will be added to the city’s auction website, Mayor Mike Duggan announced Wednesday.

Duggan returned to the Marygrove neighborhood where he first launched the initiative in May to tout that eight homes will be added to buildingdetroit.org July 23. Interested bidders can tour the homes from 1-5 p.m. Saturday.

“This is one more example of how city government is following through on the things it says it will do to improve neighborhoods,” Duggan said in a statement.

“Taking homes is not our goal; getting them fixed up is our goal. If we do have to take title on a home, we are going to put it into the auction as soon as possible.”

In April, Duggan said the city was filing lawsuits against nearly 100 homes in the 16-block area on the city’s northwest side. Since then, 35 of the homes’ owners signed consent agreements to fix them up and have them occupied within six months.

The first transfer under the nuisance abatement program was made to the Detroit Land Bank Authority last Friday. Other homes are nearing the final stages in the lawsuit process.

Until the foreclosure crisis in 2008, Marygrove was one of the more stable city neighborhoods, officials said. Now there are signs of progress, Council President Brenda Jones said.

“If people want to see the future of Detroit’s revitalization, it’s right here in Marygrove,” Jones said in a statement.

“Vacant homes are being fixed up and auctioned, new LED streetlights have been installed and neighbors are taking pride in their own homes by fixing them up as well. This is what residents can look forward to seeing in neighborhoods across the city very soon.”

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