The responsibility for blight, and the consequences of its persistence, rest ultimately with the City of Detroit. The Mayor’s office, in collaboration with the Emergency Manager’s office, must lead within the framework of the settled bankruptcy terms to address blight head-on. The centerpiece of this work will be the newly enhanced Detroit Land Bank Authority, working in concert with the Mayor’s office and Department of Neighborhoods.
This work will not be easy for the city. Detroit must reinvigorate neighborhoods through a combination of tactics that will lead to redevelopment, including the swiftest and safest possible removal of tens of thousands of vacant buildings and the cleaning and maintenance of every neglected lot in its 139 square miles—all while meeting the highest possible standards for environmental protection and resident safety; engaging in open, transparent public exchange of information; and creating shared economic opportunities among all residents of the city. For that reason, it is not only important to identify who within the City of Detroit will lead in these activities, but also what public-private partnerships are still needed to accomplish this unprecedented task.
Mayor Duggan took an important step forward earlier this year with the creation of the new Jobs and Economy Team (the “JET”) and Department of Neighborhoods, the aim of which is to bring many different responsible agencies into two teams working together to implement the Mayor’s plan. The JET includes the Planning and Development Department (PDD), which is currently revising the city’s Master Plan to align with Detroit Future City’s goals. This will create the overarching land use strategy to guide the blight removal effort. The Department of Neighborhoods includes the Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department (BSEED) and the Department of Administrative Hearings, which has several major roles to play throughout the blight removal process.
The following pages list current and recommended roles to create a comprehensive team to implement the blight removal strategy:
Recommended roles are highlighted. Existing roles are not highlighted.
Coordinating overall blight tactical activities within the City of Detroit
Detroit Land Bank Authority should:
The City of Detroit Jobs and Economy team will lead with assistance from the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. Priority should be given to:
The Planning and Development Department and the Department of Neighborhoods will lead the rehabilitation efforts in coordination with the Detroit Land Bank Authority
Detroit Land Bank Authority will lead on property disposition procedures