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Who Owns Some Of Detroit’s Abandoned Homes?

November 01 2012 | 1 comment

John George’s effort to revitalize one Detroit neighborhood has hit a roadblock. His organization, Motor City Blight Busters, wants to tear down more homes, but can’t find out who owns them.

The August BustUp was a big success.

Our 7 Action News colleagues and a large group of viewers and social media friends teamed with Blight Busters to tear/take down a home on Santa Clara street.

The abandoned and dangerous structure is no longer a magnet for crime.

But it’s not the only problem house on the street.

“Blight is like a cancer. If you don’t nip it in the bud, it spreads and kills everything, and that’s why it’s so important,” said John George, Motor City Blight Busters Founder & President.

So important that John George started Blight Busters almost 25 years ago–and he’s been attacking the Detroit’s blight problem ever since.

Blight Busters is working to clear a stretch of derelict homes on this street to turn their current community garden—into an urban farm.

“We’re looking for the owner of this home, and this home here, 21679 Santa Clara. You know, in the late 80’s, early 90’s, this is where the crack epidemic started in this neighborhood and you can see the effects. It’s devastated not only families but also properties,” George said.

The problem is—the houses can’t be torn down until George’s non-profit receives the deed to the property.  And in the case of these houses—it’s proving to be a challenge.

“When I call MichCon and Edison to disconnect the electrical and the gas lines, I’ve gotta prove ownership. When we pay for the lead and asbestos testing, we can’t afford to do that with property we don’t own, because we can’t get anywhere, so it’s the ownership is really the lynchpin in all of this,” George said. “It’s really the private owners and the banks that are holding this up and we’re getting a little frustrated, but again, with Channel 7’s help in getting the word out and getting folks to step up, we can make this work.”

That’s our aim. We’ll keep pushing to get the answers Blight Busters needs to keep moving forward. It’s an effort that fits Detroit 2020’s mission of bringing positive change to Detroit.

Click here to go to the Motor City Blight Busters website.



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  1. John J George November 11, 2012

    We LOVE Detroit.Peace Always, John DETROIT George.


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