Detroit Foreclosure for Sale: A Challenge to Local Leaders

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Detroit foreclosures for sale is continuing to be a major problem by city officials. Along with the rising unemployment rate, the increasing foreclosure properties in the city is a perennial headache to city officials.

Driving around Detroit, Michigan, one could see abandoned and vacant houses, with boarded-up windows. On blocks dotted with blighted houses, one could see overflowing garbage, knee high grass and broken doors and windows.

On the east side of the city, about 80 percent of houses are vacant and foreclosed. But what has alarmed many industry experts are the growing number of Detroit foreclosures for sale in historically vibrant neighborhoods of North Rosedale Park, Boston Edison, Palmer Woods and East English Village.

Recent market data showed that one out of five houses in Detroit is vacant. Along with the rising unemployment rate, foreclosure has been a major challenge to city officials. Their most immediate problem is how to prevent foreclosure properties in healthy neighborhoods from becoming blights.

Industry experts suggest that the city should work closely with nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups and block clubs that have been on the forefront in the fight to prevent blights from destroying communities.

They also suggested that city leaders must start to plan for a smaller city, streamlining the population to just about 750,000 by 2010 census. According to data released by the Office of Foreclosure Prevention, 17 percent of city residents lost their properties to foreclosure in 2008 or one in every five households.

Data provided by the U.S. Postal Service showed that about 17 percent of addresses in Detroit are vacant. The figures do not include the thousands of abandoned and empty lots.

Meanwhile, the demolition efforts of the city fell further behind. In the past five years, Detroit was able to demolish only not more than 5,000 structures. So far, Detroit has about 32,000 structures listed as dangerous buildings. However, only about 2,700 have demolition orders. The annual demolition budget of the city could hardly cover the expenses of demolishing several large downtown buildings.

And the problem of vacant, foreclosed properties is expected to grow more with the rising unemployment rate in Detroit. Currently, the city’s unemployment rate is nearly 30 percent while vacant properties are estimated to be around 78,000.

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