Jeff Skrenes' Blog - Hawthorne Hawkman's North by Northside
Detroit is selling vacant houses to cops for $1,000.http://nomipassenger.blogspot.com/2011/02/detroit-mayor-offers-cops-abandoned.htmlWe need this!
The city of Minneapolis is just as much at fault for these abandonments as the forclosures- It's just too expensive to rehab a home to Minneapolis' standards. For example, I bought a much better home outside of Minneapolis for far less $$$ than it would have cost to repair my home in Minneapolis.
How sad it is that the ideals of home ownership and community have been superseded by greed and financial gain of the privileged in America. This is happening not only here and Detroit, but all across our country.
Like cops know how to fix up houses!!!!
@John, first of all, I was disappointed to see NoMi Passenger use a photo of a house she already conceded to demolition. A house, by the way, that I believe is being targeted for demolition because of unsavory activities that happened there instead of the relative worth of the house itself. But then again, as much as I like many of the folks over on Hillside, we really don't see eye to eye on the demolition issue.Still, in regards to the $1,000 cop house program in Detroit, the article referenced doesn't make it clear how the homes became owned by either the city or another entity that could give them away for that cheap. Nor does it detail where the $150,000 in federal money to rehab them is coming from. Those are especially important points if we want to try for anything similar here. I think the rehab grant money is actually a bigger part of the puzzle there, and it also reflects their values of preservation, that they are willing to sink that much money into houses. Here in Minneapolis, my understanding is that if the net loss is over $60,000, then typically the city moves towards demolition. In Detroit, where the vacant housing issue is far greater, they're willing to sink $150,000 into each house. What can be replicated around that policy here?@Dyna, we're basically agreed as well. Furthermore, I have great neighbors across the alley who did much of the rehab work on a vacant house themselves. Now that the city requires a general contractor for any code compliance, I can pretty much rule out getting new neighbors in the same fashion. We'll be looking at investors, demos, non-profits, and a smattering of purchase-rehab loans instead.@Anon 8:03, your comment is stupid.
Jeff, I'm so sorry I disappointed you with my choice of stock photo of an abandoned house. I'll try to do better next time. The truth is, I have not already conceded that house to demolition. In January, Eric Johnson reported to the JACC board that Deb Wagner and he had picked that house along with two others, to be recommended for tax forfeiture acquisition and demo. I was very sad to hear that out of a list of tax forfeiture properties that address was one of the worst three. I even gave one last try at finding some financial backer to essentially donate a shit ton of money to rehabbing it, knowing they will never get back a fraction of what it might cost, but just to do it for preservation sake. Sigh. So now all we can do is take pictures of it, and put the pictures on the internet as a sharp reminder of the great abandoned homes we have here in NoMi. Which is what I did. And I'm sorry you are disappointed. Sigh, again.
NoMi Passenger, I almost declined to publish your comment on the grounds that momma didn't raise no whiners in the Skrenes family. But you had enough substance to let it slide at least once.I believe this house and many like it exemplify exactly what is wrong with our local approach to demolitions. Many local residents base their opinions about a house around activities that happened there sometimes as long as a decade ago, instead of focusing on the structure itself. Our city and partners have set up a "land bank" to acquire and hold vacant lots until the market improves. There is no "house bank" to hold vacant properties in a similar fashion.We are overly dependent on non-profits to come in and save the day. And in our justified zeal to squeeze out slumlords, we have created a regulatory process that actually discourages some of the most positive kinds of investment that could benefit our community.
Have you done a walk through at that hillside house? Tell us why you think it is being targeted for demolition based on what happened at that house instead of based on the structural soundness of the house?
Anon 10:40, I have not been inside of that house. My criticism is that many of the people I have spoken to who advocate for its demolition haven't been inside either. Yet I hear calls for demolition in this case because the house was once a boarding house for prostitutes. I disagree with the line of thinking that necessitates demolition based on the prior behavior of individuals over the condition or potential of a structure.
LoL @ NP!
Yes...We need to start recognizing that it's the owners and property managers that permit bad things to happen and penalize them instead of the structures and surrounding community!
Also, when has 1522 Hillside been on the market, available for someone to purchase at its true market value (probably close to $0) for rehab?
Yeah Good Questions JeffEric, why did you and Deb Wagner recommend 1522 Hillside to be acquired and torn down?
I've been inside of 1522. It's been a while, but I liked it and thought it had potential.Also, it has a great view of downtown from second floor.