Proposal N creates opportunity for Detroit’s returning citizens

Proposal N creates opportunity for Detroit’s returning citizens


The Detroit Demolition Department, which runs the city's blight removal program, is continuing a push to provide opportunity to Detroit’s returning citizens (those previously incarcerated) as bond-funded demolitions and stabilizations continue under Proposal N. With the passage of Proposal N, the Demolition Department was tasked with several community-focused directives, including saving as many homes as possible from demolition by prioritizing rehabilitation and implementing a strategic plan for hiring Detroiters. To aid in fulfilling these directives, department leadership proposed a hiring preference for returning citizens who are Detroit residents. Grady Brown is one such Detroiter benefiting from the Demolition Department’s hiring directive. After his return to our community, Brown unsuccessfully pursued employment for over a year before learning about the Demolition Department at a City of Detroit career fair. With a history in residential construction, he was perfect for the role but didn’t think there could be a place for him working for the city. “It’s really hard for guys like us, coming home and looking for a reliable job,” shared Brown. “I was surprised the city would even consider someone like me – but they walked me through the process and made me feel like I’d be a real asset to the team. It’s been a big improvement in my life. I’m not sure where I’d be without this opportunity.” The Vacant Property Unit, one of two Demolition field teams, is comprised almost entirely of returning citizens. The unit secures vacant properties citywide, installing polycarbonate doors and windows to allow buyers to begin repairs while keeping structures safe from intruders and the elements.

“Our field teams are responsible for the tangible part of the process – the things residents actually see and experience on a daily basis,” shared LaJuan Counts, Director of the Detroit Demolition Department. “Day after day, they actively improve the look and value of our neighborhoods and are proud to play such a direct role in improving the city they call home.” To date, the Demolition Department has stabilized approximately 830 properties with voter-approved bond funding, working with majority Black-owned contractors and Detroit citizens. Approximately 120 of those stabilized properties have been relisted for sale through the Detroit Land Bank. The Demolition Department is actively seeking additional Detroiters to fill available field positions. To view open positions, visit www.governmentjobs.com/careers/detroit.