The City of Detroit’s blight removal program – already the largest in the nation – is poised to expand by at least 50% over the next two years, and several neighborhood-focused programs are fueling a rise in home rehabilitation across the city.
To help meet the need for added demolition and home repair production, Mayor Mike Duggan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and leaders of Detroit’s faith-based community announced today an upcoming Contractor Opportunity Fair to connect more Detroit-based and minority-owned Detroit contractors with this increase in opportunity.
“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.”
With the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow-PUSH Coalition and Michigan Minority Contractors Association, the City of Detroit and Detroit Land Bank Authority will host the first of several Detroit Contractor Opportunity Fairs. The first event will be held from 1-4 p.m. on May 13, 2016, at the Northwest Activities Center, located at 18100 Meyers.
The goals of the fair are to:
- Increase the number of Detroit contractors certified with the City of Detroit. Detroit companies that have been in business for two years or less can get certified with the City of Detroit for just $150, a steep discount from the usual rate of $600. Detroit-certified contractors will have their business listed on http://www.detroitmi.gov, http://www.buildingdetroit.org, and provided to Detroit Land Bank auction home buyers. Registered contractors will also be eligible for work with the City of Detroit and the Detroit 0% Home Loan program.
- Encourage contractors to get into demolition by providing information on licensing, equipment needs, bidding etc. Connect with minority-owned companies, including 313 Construction and Rickman Enterprises.
- Connect contractors to demolition-related opportunities and learn how to do business with the City.
- Learn about lending opportunities through a variety of banks and programs, such as the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund.
Over the next several weeks the city, with support from local churches and community organizations, will be promoting the Detroit Contractor Opportunity Fair.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is President and Founder of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition and played a pivotal role in gaining congressional approval for $2 billion in additional blight removal funds nationwide, praised the city’s efforts to support the growth of its small businesses.
“This is a major step for urban reconstruction that will create unparalleled opportunities for Detroit-based businesses and residents,” he said.
Greater demand fuels increased opportunity
Over the past two years, the City of Detroit has demolished more than 8,000 vacant houses. Of the work done so far, $25 million in contracts have been awarded to Detroit-based minority-owned contractors. With another $42 million in Federal blight removal funds headed to the City of Detroit, Mayor Duggan expects the rate of demolition will grow to 5,000 structures this year and 6,000 next year.
Meanwhile, programs like the Detroit Land Bank’s home auction, community partner and nuisance abatement programs, the City’s 0% Interest Home Improvement Loan program and others, the need for qualified home improvement contractors also is expected to rise. Under these initiatives alone, thousands of homes across the city will be repaired and renovated over the next few years.
This massive expansion will create a need for additional capacity in areas such as demolition work, trucking and hauling, environmental services, landscaping and sidewalk replacement, creating significant new employment opportunities for Detroiters.
“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.
To register for the Detroit Contractor Opportunity Fair, go to http://www.detroitmi.gov/demolition.