Monday, May 11, 2009

Destroying homes to save a city

From Fox:

The economy continues to hurt struggling towns across America, but one city -- Flint, Mich. -- is taking matters into its own hands.

Flint is trying to bounce back by tearing down homes.

In 2002, the Genesse County Landbank was established for this very reason. It has acquired thousands of foreclosed homes, and one by one, demolished them.

Officials say the abandoned homes attract criminals, are unsafe and bring down the entire area.

After a home is fully razed, officials try to sell the parcel to a next door neighbor for close to nothing -- about $25 in exchange for them to keep it up.


Anonymous said...

Very similar to when the government bought excess piglets during the Great Depression and slaughtered them while people were going hungry.

God forbid prices adjust to where workers could afford their houses. We will have many years of problems from this latest "credit crisis", because it isn't a credit crisis at all, but the result of systematically underpaying the American worker for years and papering over poverty with credit.

See Galbraith's, "The Great Depression."

faster340 said...

Wow that's a good deal. I would love to buy my neighbors property at that rate! I would have nice sized lot and my property value would go up!!!

Anonymous said...

As crazy as it sounds, they might just be on to something in Flint. It has to work a hell of alot better than the overdevelopment insanity we are dealing with here in NY Shitty.
Flint Crap gets demolished, Queens Crap multiplies.

Anonymous said...

They will probably send all their homeless to live in all the luxury condos they can't sell in LIC. You have arrived! I wonder what Michael Moore-on will have to say about this....

Anonymous said...

It's a good idea. An empty lot is better than a fire trap with broken windows.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Flint, and got the heck out of there as soon as I could. I am now living in a very peaceful tourist town on the shore of Lake Michigan (Grand Haven).

Flint has (for as long as I can remember) had a very corrupt government, extremely high crime rates (honestly, I felt much more safe the few times I visited NYC than I did just driving around Flint.)

Most of the police/firefighters have recently been laid off, leaving HUGE spots throughout the city that are completely uncovered by a police/fire force (and oddly, the uncovered portions are the areas that have traditionally had the highest crime rates).

Since the layoffs, crime has skyrocketed in those areas, along with arsons.

Flint takes a unique approach when it comes to Arson or fires in the ghettos (and I somewhat agree with it); they do absolutely nothing if the house is known to be vacant or a crackhouse. They let it burn right to the ground to save on demolition costs.

Everybody in Flint has the mindset that they live in a bustling city that is alive, and I am kind of stumped by that train of thought. Like I said I moved to the west side of the state to the lake shore; I am 30 miles from the metropolis of Grand Rapids, which is Michigan's second largest city. The town is truly alive, and actually quickly growing, even in this horrible economy. Flint on the otherhand is simply dead with no hope in sight.

Lino said...

Stupid and vengeful waste of housing.

If the buildings are, or can be made habitable, why not let neighbors buy them for that $25 with the proviso that they maintain same.

This really is a wasteful country.

Anonymous said...

They aren't habitable. They are abandoned and trashed.

Anonymous said...

A $25.00 price would leave plenty of money to put them back into shape.

When my landlord was trying to kill me by dropping ceilings on me, freezing me, and so forth, I went down to the Bronx County Courthouse and bought a 1 bedroom for $52,000 that later fell through for poor title.

I would have had to put another $15,000 into that unit to make it habitable, and I had to pass a co-op interview to even have that opportunity.

I am an office worker, not a contractor, so I would have had to trust the expertise and honest of others.

I am sure there are people in Flint who have construction backgrounds who could buy them and fix them up with sweat equity, then they would have a house.

Anonymous said...

You guys are funny. Talking about over development and what a waste this country is. IT IS FLINT MICHIGAN. NOT NEW YORK. It is totally different there. There is little to no industry. Little or no jobs. That is why these properties are vacant and crime is so rampant. And to the genius who suggested they not tear the houses down, and have the neighbors buy them and maintain them....for what? for a vacant house to sit there? Look bad and become a liability? TEAR THEM DOWN. let the neighbors buy them and turn them in to huge backyards for their kids to play in. Great idea. And although over development is bad here in NY, we should all be pretty thankful that we do not live in Flint Michigan (or Detroit), and have the types of types of problems they have. If you do not agree. Sell your house and buy an entire city block in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should ask whether Flint is coming to a city near you. There is no logical reason why Flint or any other major American industrial city should be such a mess except for the hollowing out of the American economy.

This is the whole reason for the "credit crisis" the chickens have come home to roost.

Anonymous said...

The noise-to-signal ratio is very high here.

Anonymous said...

The noise-to-signal ratio is very high here.

Then its time you got a new hearing aid.