The city’s blight removal program, already the largest in the nation, is going to expand by at least 50 percent over the next two years. Additionally, several neighborhood-focused programs have resulted in a rise in home rehabilitation across Detroit.
But that increase in the blight removal program and home rehab projects has created a shortage of available demolition and home repair contractors. To help meet this need, Mayor Mike Duggan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and leaders of Detroit’s faith-based community have announced a Contractor Opportunity Fair.
The fair will help connect more Detroit-based and minority-owned Detroit contractors with projects in and around the city.
“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,” Mayor Duggan said. “Detroit-based, minority-owned companies will play a key role in Detroit’s resurgence and our ability to meet this growing demand.”
The first of several Detroit Contractor Opportunity Fairs will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 13, 2016, at the Northwest Activities Center, located at 18100 Meyers. To register for the fair, visit www.detroitmi.gov/demolition.
In addition to connecting contractors with opportunities, the fair also aims to increase the number of Detroit contractors certified with the City of Detroit, encourage contractors to get into demolition and help them learn about lending opportunities through banks and programs like the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is President and Founder of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, one of the supporters of the opportunity fair, said in a statement, “This is a major step for urban reconstruction that will create unparalleled opportunities for Detroit-based businesses and residents.”
Over the past two years, Detroit has demolished over 8,000 vacant houses. Of the work done, $25 million in contracts have been awarded to Detroit-based minority-owned contractors. Because of the addition $42 million in federal blight removal funds, Duggan expects the demolition rate to grow to 5,000 buildings this year and 6,000 next year.
“The Michigan Minority Contractors Association (MMCA) applauds the Duggan Administration for its efforts to include more diverse contractors in its contractor pool for the more than $200 million dollars that have been earmarked for the Detroit Demolition Program,” said Jason A. Cole, Executive Director of the Michigan Minority Contractors Association.