Home demolitions start up again in Saginaw - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Home demolitions start up again in Saginaw

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(01/16/14) - It was in October when Saginaw began knocking down homes in a big push to clean-up neighborhoods.

Six homes were demolished  to kick-off the project, however, there were few demolitions after that.

The pace has picked up again.
    
Paperwork and prep work had to be done on the hundreds of homes targeted for demolition.

Once that was done, the weather wasn't cooperating, but the excavators are back out now.

There used to be a house at 2010 Walnut, on the city's east side. Minnie Green lives next door with her daughter's family.

"It had raccoons and bats, and everything else up there, running us into the house, the kids were scared to come outside," she said.

The home had been abandoned for years.

"About six years, it was really in rough shape," said Terry Collier, the city's final grade inspector.

It's now gone, as Saginaw is once again picking up the pace of abandoned home demolitions. The city was awarded $11.2 million in the federal government's Hardest Hit program, cities hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. The city believes it can knock down a total of 950 blighted homes with the money.

"We are averaging between two and six homes a week right now," Collier said.

He says the three contractors knocking down the homes and removing the rubble have been slowed by the weather.
 
"The weather has been rough, everything is full of ice," Collier said.

The city has knocked down 52 homes with the federal dollars.

"The worst homes were are trying to get to first and then work our way up," he said.

"That is beautiful to me, I was tired of that house," Green said.

Green's daughter now plans on applying to the city to add that property on to hers, making more room for the kids to go outside.

"She wants to put a basketball court up and a playground for the kids," Green said.

And it's not just Saginaw. The City of Flint received $20 million in federal money to knock down more than 1,600 homes.

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