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Detroit mayor wants to let neighbors rent vacant lots

Detroit's mayor wants to let neighborhoods put some of their vacant land to use.

"For recreation purposes, for gardening, for off-street parking, or whatever else their community wants, on the condition that the block club approves the use," says Mike Duggan.

Duggan says his plan would build off the city's successful side lot sale.

He expects 2,000 adjacent lots will have been sold by the end of this year.

"The city still is going to be owning somewhere around 50 to 60,000 vacant lots,” though, Duggan says. “City hall can't begin to figure out what to do with those vacant lots."

Duggan plans to ask the city council to approve a program that would let people rent vacant lots at $25 a year for three years.

Community block clubs would have to approve the intended use for the lots.

Duggan says he'll ask city council to approve the plan later this summer.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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