Detroit Hopes to Lure Its Cops Back Into Town With Huge Housing Incentives

Detroit pays cops to move back into townAs WalletPop reported last year, Detroit is America's most dangerous city, and is also rife with foreclosures. To address these problems, the mayor of Detroit, former NBA star Dave Bing, has announced a new program, Project 14, that he hopes will lure the 53% of the city's police force that lives outside the city back within city limits.

What are the chances of getting the cops to move back into town? The city is offering some sweet terms; houses ready for renovation for as little at $1,000, in two neighborhoods: East English Village and the Boston-Edison Historic District. The latter was once the home of famous Detroiters including Henry Ford, Joe Louis, Walter P. Ruther and Barry Gordy. 200 houses will be rehabbed using federal stimulus funds.In addition to receiving the low-cost homes, the officers will receive up to $150,000 each to fund the rennovations, making this a potential $30 million project.

However, the East English Village area is full of houses with price tags between $1,000 and $10,000, so the value of a fixed-up house would probably not be realized any time soon. There is also a stipulation in the agreement requiring the buyer to repay the grant if he sells to anyone other than another police officer.
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The same incentive may eventually be offered to the firefighters of Detroit, according to the mayor. Over half of them also live outside the city limits.

Since many people choose where to live based on schools for their children, the city's school system may play a role in dissuading officers from accepting the deal. recently rated the district's school system as a three out of ten based on test results. The system has been running a deficit for years, as well.

Detroit is not alone in being spurned as home for its officers, though. Only 22% of Atlanta's police force lives within the city limits. Chattanooga, with 42%, is also working on a housing incentive package.

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