Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan On His $250 Million Plan to Banish Blight

Duggan’s administration officially submitted a $250 million bond earlier this week to remove remaining residential blight by mid 2025.

Photo of an abandoned home in Detroit.

Mayor Mike Duggan recently unveiled a proposal for a $250 million bond to demolish the city’s blighted homes at an accelerated rate. 

Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

It’s hard to argue against a plan that would get vacant, blighted homes out of Detroit’s neighborhoods, but there are a lot of important questions that need to be asked.

What are the financial implications of this plan, considering Detroit filed bankruptcy just six years ago? What are the health risks for those living by demolition sites? What about the plan that was previously in place?  

Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson talks with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to get the answers. They also talk about city finances, a follow-up on Henderson’s conversation yesterday with Chad Livengood

Listen to the full conversation with Mayor Mike Duggan by clicking the player above. 

Support the news you love.

Here at WDET, we strive to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a non-profit public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. Because you value WDET as your source of news, music, and conversation, please make a gift of support today. Even $5 helps!

Donate today »


On moving on from the federal probe into Detroit’s demolition program: “We put a new process in place three years ago. I think the vast majority of people in the city support us moving forward,” says Duggan. Adding, “I’d like to finish the job and get every abandoned house out of the city in the next five years and I think we can do it.”

On diversifying funding sources for the demolition program: “The federal money came with a lot of strings attached and I don’t want to complain, $265 million dollars got a lot done,” says Mayor Duggan. 

On finding and creating sources of revenue for the city: “My strategy from the beginning was income tax, you bring in a Chrysler plant, supplier plant, it’s been the economic base that has driven us.”

On the future of Detroit neighborhoods post-demolition: “There is going to be a lot of vacant land, our first strategy is side lots. Thirteen thousand people have bought vacant side lots next to their house. As we move into neighborhoods with [more vacant homes] we are going to do planning with neighbors.” 


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.