By Brandon HallWXYZ has confirmed federal authorities are investigating the #Blight$candal Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan finds himself in the hot seat for.
The head of Detroit’s Land Bank is also now out of a job as Duggan’s administration faces intense scrutiny over what the heck is going on with the removal of blighted houses as part of a $100 million federal grant.
Reporter Charlie LeDuff first reported on the scandal last week, showcasing the significant cost increase in removing blighted homes since Duggan has taken office.
What used to cost around $10,000 now costs $16,000 or more. While Duggan claims it’s because of increased quality, Detroiters, along with LeDuff and WXYZ and the evidence on the ground, say otherwise.
LeDuff also notes that Detroit’s costs are around 30% higher than its neighbors who also received federal grants, and nearly 200% higher than Romulus, which received nothing...
According to WXYZ:
“Big questions are being raised in Detroit's battle against blight. 7 Action News has learned federal investigators are looking into how the city is spending 100 Million federal dollars to knock down blighted homes.
The questions come as the cost for home demolitions have gone up. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has explained the increase to city council, but questions persist in the neighborhoods. People want to know where the money is going and why, in too many cases, a mess is left behind…
Mayor Duggan went before city council this week to explain the rising cost of demo jobs. The price went from an average of $10,000 under Mayor Bing to $13,600 in 2014 and $16,400 in 2015.
Duggan says many things factor into the higher price tag, including higher standards and better quality work. "It's more expensive to follow the rules than not,” Duggan said.
7 Action News has been analyzing the numbers and inspecting demolition sites. We discovered cracked sidewalks, top soil with rocks and chunks of concrete. At those same lots, the cost to tear down the homes cost tax payers well above the $16,4000 average. All were at or above $25,000. Contractors say asbestos abatement can drive up the cost of the project.”