In Flint, it takes a village to raze a house

Nov 12, 2014

This burned-out house on Parkbelt Drive in Flint was torn down yesterday with funding from a crowdsourcing effort.
Credit Courtesy Parkbelt Drive residents

Back in August, we brought you the story of an online fundraising effort aimed at bringing in enough money to pay for the demolition of a single burned-out house in Flint. Gordon Young is a Flint expat and author of “Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City”. His idea was simple: while Flint has hundreds of abandoned homes, and some neighborhoods suffer mightily from such blight, he wanted to find a house that needed tearing down in an otherwise well maintained neighborhood, one where the demolition would improve the neighborhood’s chances of thriving into the future.

His crowdsourcing goal was to raise $10,000 to help the Genesee County Land Bank Authority demolish a burned out house on Parkbelt Drive. He had the support of people living near the house, and as it turns out, the online community as well. The money came in, and yesterday, the city of Flint tore the house down.

Current State has this follow-up conversation with Gordon Young.