In 2010, Detroit demolished almost 2,000 homes in an effort to stamp out urban blight. This year, trying to save some of the remaining houses, the new “Project 14” program will provide the city’s police officers and other qualifying individuals with fully restored and renovated homes. For a down payment of just $1,000 the lucky owners will have property with an expected value of $40,000 to $80,000.
The idea is to lure the 1,500-plus officers that live outside the city’s limits back into Detroit. Before 1999, members of the Detroit police force were required to live within city limits, but since that rule was reversed, a full 53 percent of the force has taken up residence in the suburbs.
Getting them back into the city could provide a number of benefits, according to Mayor David Bing’s office, including deterring crime, strengthening relations between the community and police department, increasing the tax base, and making city neighborhoods more desirable. The pilot program includes 200 houses, a number that could be expanded in the future.
Thousands of Detroit’s homes remain slated for demolition. But the city is showing some innovative spirit in Project 14 that just might help preserve some of a once-thriving city’s landscape. Click through the slideshow above to see (Project) 14 of Detroit’s abandoned homes.
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