State to Unveil Detroit Demolition Plan

DETROIT—Michigan’s governor plans to unveil a new urban policy Thursday aimed at jumpstarting the demolition of thousands of vacant and abandoned homes in Detroit, further evidence of the state’s more assertive role in the city’s affairs.

Detroit, which lost a quarter of its population between 2000 and 2010, is estimated to have as many as 40,000 vacant and dangerous structures across its 139-square-mile spread. Such homes are a magnet for criminal activity and create a hazard for children walking to schools.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder plans to use about $10 million of Michigan’s $97 million payout from a national mortgage-settlement fund to help demolish abandoned houses that surround nine schools in three of Detroit’s deteriorating communities. At the same time, social workers will relocate from their offices into schools in an effort to reduce truancy and establish the buildings as neighborhood hubs.

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