We are several years into Detroit’s revival as a city attracting major investment and attention from businesses. Yet, those attempts at revitalization have not always touched people in Detroit who need it the most. Many are starting to believe these so-called improvements pose a threat to underserved neighborhoods.
“Over 85% of American households, their wealth comes from their home. And so, if your home has been damaged or has had neglect, or just having not been able to maintain it for whatever reason, then that severely curtails the wealth opportunity for you at the household … So, I think reinvestment in home repair is going to be paramount.” —Antoine Bryant, City of Detroit
Recently, Mayor Mike Duggan announced he is nominating a new member of the administration to help tackle these issues. Antoine Bryant is a Brooklyn, New York native and a longtime urban planner who, if confirmed by Detroit City Council, says he would be focused on the development and social empowerment of underserved communities in Detroit.
Listen: Antoine Bryant discusses what he would do if confirmed as director of planning and development for the City of Detroit.
Antoine Bryant is Mayor Mike Duggan’s nominee for the position of planning and development director. He says he has heard consistently from residents and business owners that people want more investment in homes because they are the core element of building wealth in the United States.
“Over 85% of American households, their wealth comes from their home. And so, if your home has been damaged or has had neglect, or just having not been able to maintain it for whatever reason, then that severely curtails the wealth opportunity for you at the household,” says Bryant. “So, I think reinvestment in home repair is going to be paramount.”
According to Bryant, one of his priorities in his first year on the job, if he is confirmed, will be to update the “master plan” for developing neighborhoods in the city. “We’ll have our staff reaching out across the city to make sure that Detroiters are a part of that process,” he says. “The master plan update is long overdue, and this update will be very comprehensive.”
As for adapting Detroit’s infrastructure and buildings to climate change, Bryant wants a comprehensive approach with the city. “We’ll be working intimately with housing, we’ll be working with the water department, we’ll be working with public works. We’ll be working across all of the departments to make a much more comprehensive approach to how the city grows,” Bryant says.
Web story written by Dan Netter