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Detroit mayor wants more minority, local contractors for city's blight-removal efforts

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Stephen Harlan
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flickr creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit mayor Mike Duggan announced plans today to recruit more Detroit-based, minority contractors for the city's expanding blight-removal efforts.

Duggan wants them to help meet increased demand for home demolition and rehabilitation in the city's neighborhoods.

Duggan announced several upcoming fairs to connect contractors with opportunities. The first will be held on May 13 at the Northwest Activities Center at 18100 Meyers Road.

The fairs aim to increase the number of Detroit contractors certified to do business with the city of Detroit and to provide information about how to do business with the city and about a variety of lending opportunities.

"Thanks to an increase in federal funding and the work being done by the Detroit Land Bank and others, we are about to ramp up the work that's already taking place in our neighborhoods," Duggan said in a written statement. "Detroit-based, minority-owned companies will play a key role in Detroit's resurgence and our ability to meet this growing demand."

With $42 million in new federal blight-removal money on its way to Detroit, Duggan  expects 5,000 structures to be demolished this year and 6,000 next year.  He said that compares to 8,000 vacant houses that were torn down over the previous two years. 

Duggan anticipates thousands of homes in Detroit will be renovated over the next several years, thanks to various city initiatives like the Detroit Land Bank's home auction and the city's zer0-percent interest home improvement loan program.

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