PONTIAC — Bill Pulte, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, and Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman announced today that The Blight Authority, city of Pontiac, and Oakland County has eliminated 305 of its 900 identified blighted homes since January 2014.
“We are very proud of our progress,” Waterman says. “Although there is still a lot of work to do, we know that that our focused resource deployment is having a significant positive impact on our community.”
The group also announced that St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has donated $60,000 toward blight removal efforts this year. “It’s clear that St. Joseph is committed to this great community,” Pulte says. “They see the vision and have pledged to help in any way they can.”
In addition to the private support, The Blight Authority and the city of Pontiac have secured an additional $150,000 in blight management funds from the state.
“Eliminating blight in Pontiac will help the city move forward,” Patterson says.
According to Pulte, funding has been secured and another 120 homes have been identified for removal. “We are going to keep our foot on the gas,”Pulte says. “We have great momentum and could take down as many as 200 homes this year if we get additional public and/or private funding. We are looking everywhere we can to find additional money. That’s why partnerships like the one with St. Joseph are so vital to our success.”
Last year, PNC Bank provided a $15,000 grant to fund a city-wide home survey in Pontiac. Using technology developed by Detroit-based Loveland Technologies LLC, the blight team surveyed 25,000 parcels and determined that roughly 900 homes were blighted or on a path towards blight.
“Removing the 305 homes that have been eliminated and accounting for another 70 properties that have either been taken down by private owners or no longer deemed blighted, there are roughly 597 blighted properties left,” Pulte says. “If we hit our target, Pontiac can be another 33 percent closer to being blight free by the end of the year.”