Defund Demolitions – Fund Public Health

May 31, 2022

During the past two years the administration has prioritized the expansion of industrial sites as a key economic growth model. Examples include the State Fairgrounds, Cadillac Plant, FCA/Stellantis and the recent AMC Headquarters development. For the most part, the developers of these sites are mandated to fix the environmental issues on the development property.  Unfortunately, residents who live in the impact area alongside these developments are left to deal with the negative health and environmental impacts that reduce their quality of life. A recent example of this situation is the poor air quality associated with the FCA/Stellantis plant expansion. Our local elected officials cannot simply say this is a responsibility for the State of Michigan.

The amount of ARPA funds that have been slated for demolition: $95 million.  The amount of ARPA funds slated for environmental protections through the Public Health Fund: $0

Fund the Public Health Fund!

Demolition funds should be re-allocated to the Public Health Fund to support the protection of Detroiters from historical, ongoing and future over pollution. The current administration has spend nearly a billion dollars on demolition without adequately responding to the housing crisis or the environmental injustice of deals like Stellantis. The state has fined Detroit $24,500 in the last eight months over environmental safety violations by contractors hired to demolish houses. Source: Axios

The particulate matter generated by demolition may represent a threat to the health of people living nearby, one of these being asthma. Latest state report on asthma in Detroit shows the disparities have grown in the last five years. In 2012 Detroit adults with asthma at 15.5% compared with Michigan’s 11%. Last year, 16.2% of Detroit adults had asthma, while the proportion statewide remained almost the same at 11.1%, making the disease 46% higher in the city than the rest of the state. Source: Detroit News

Call City Council and the Mayor to step in and provide some relief for residents. Funding should improve the quality of the air we breathe; protect our homes from damage, continue to educate residents and improve our neighborhood environment overall.

Majority Black Detroit deserves a fair and equitable investment from ARPA funds.