Quote Originally Posted by ReinMan View Post
Meh. A solution, looking in the wrong place for a problem to solve.

Detroit's biggest property problem these days is abandoned houses, not a lack of them.

There are neighborhoods where you could probably just move into one of the abandoned homes, change the locks, and start fixing it up; and no one would say squat. There's even a non-profit operating that tracks down deed holders (apparently harder than it sounds) and gets permission to demolish an abandoned house with volunteer labor. They turn the property into community gardens and such.

There's some pretty cool applications of this at the link and other sites, though.

There are houses that were abandoned 20 years ago and need to be torn down. Then there are houses that have been abandoned in the last 3-5 years, that are salvagable.

The problem is this: crime at the property sites. When I still lived in the city, in the 90s, Habitat built a bunch of homes in northern Highland Park. No one ever moved into the homes because thieves broke into them and stripped them bare of plumbing, electrical wire and anything else they could rip out.

Those who rehab houses in the cities of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck cannot leave their building supplies on site, and have to take them with them when they leave each day. They also have to move people in as soon as they complete their work, or risk people breaking in and taking everything. When they build large projects, like condos or apartments, they hire security to be on site 24/7.