Rep. Banks Tackles Blight Problem in Detroit

Legislator works to clean up abandoned properties
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

State Representative Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) announced at a hearing of the House Local Government Committee last week that he will continue fighting blight in Michigan’s 1st House District. It is estimated that there are as many as 78,000 abandoned homes and buildings within the city of Detroit, and it has been noted that these properties have become hotbeds for drug dealing, thieving operations and vagrancy.

“Blight is a problem plaguing several of Michigan’s cities, including Detroit and its surrounding areas,” said Banks. “In an effort to clean up the district, I have been working with local licensed carpenters and volunteers to clean and secure many dangerous, abandoned homes across our district.”

Last summer, Banks worked alongside district residents as they cleaned and boarded up 25 abandoned homes that had been reported to his office. At last week’s hearing, he announced that those efforts were just the beginning of his work, and asked Detroit residents to continue reporting any blighted or abandoned homes in their neighborhood.

“I will continue working to clean up the district until all blighted properties have either been made safe or demolished completely,” Banks said. “To help in this effort, I invite you to make my office aware of any blighted properties in your community. The lists we have already received have been a great aid in pinpointing the areas of the district that need the most attention.”

If you are aware of any abandoned homes in your neighborhood that need attention, you can contact Rep. Banks’ office with the address of the property by calling toll free at (888) 254-5291 or by email at BrianBanks@house.mi.gov.