Report: Blight Elimination Hardest Hit Funds Increase Detroit Home Values $209 million and Significantly Contribute to the Total Property Value Increase of $410 million

Rock Ventures, Skillman Foundation, Dynamo Metrics Partner on New Data Project

DETROIT, October 6, 2015 — An aggressive public-private partnership to eliminate blight in Detroit shows strong results thanks to more than $100 million in Hardest Hit Funds (HHF) from the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) since the program was implemented in 2014. A new detailed data report released today by The Skillman Foundation, Rock Ventures, and Dynamo Metrics in partnership with the City of Detroit, shows an estimated increase in total home equity of more than $209 million. Report details can be found at

From December 2014 through May 2015, Dynamo researched the economic impact of current HHF Blight Elimination Program investments in Detroit. The 36-page report is titled, “Estimating Home Equity Impacts from Rapid, Targeted Residential Demolition in Detroit, Michigan: Application of a Spatially-Dynamic Data System for Decision Support.”
Report findings demonstrate large home valuation increases from the HHF program in Detroit, including:

-The valuation of homes within 500 feet of an HHF demolition increased by an estimated 4.2 percent or more than $209 million.
-The valuation of homes in HHF zones where a multi-faceted blight elimination strategy was deployed increased by 13.8 percent or nearly $410 million.
-Multi-faceted blight elimination includes HHF demolition, nuisance abatement lawsuits, side lot sales and home auctions.

“In addition to the obvious healing benefits to Detroit neighborhoods, this study is the financial proof demonstrating blight elimination is an investment in the community that has a direct and immediate financial return,” says Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman, Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

The report findings indicate for every $1 the U.S. Treasury invests in HHF demolitions, there is an immediate home valuation increase of $4.27. Investments in the multi-faceted blight elimination models increase that return on investment to $8.35 for every dollar of investment.
“Measuring the economic impact of blight removal in Detroit shows the return on investment of this vital federal program to benefit generations of Detroiters and provide a better quality of life for our children,” says Chris Uhl, Vice President, Social Innovation, The Skillman Foundation.

Attacking blight removal strategically and getting families back into Detroit homes has been a top priority for Mayor Mike Duggan since he became mayor in 2014. The ability for his team to maintain their aggressive pace of blight removal is critical to Detroit’s overall resurgence.

The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force’s May 2014 report identified more than 78,000 properties in need of intervention in 2014, 40,000 of which met the report’s definition of blight.

As of July 2015, Mayor Duggan and the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA) have demolished nearly 6,000 blighted homes in Detroit, with a total of 7,000 demolitions expected before the funds are fully expended.

“We will continue to update this model to measure the positive impact on home values in Detroit,” says Deb Dansby, Vice President, Rock Ventures. “The case for investment in blight removal is crystal clear.”

About The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force
The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force was formed in September 2013 during the Obama Administration’s announcement of significant investments in Detroit. The Task Force brought public, private, non-profit, federal and state partners together with the City of Detroit to develop a straightforward, detailed set of recommendations to remove all of the blight in Detroit. The Task Force released its report in May, 2014.

About Rock Ventures
Rock Ventures LLC is the umbrella entity that provides operational coordination, guidance and integration of Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert’s diverse portfolio of companies, investments and real estate purchases. Rock Ventures and its more than 110 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 24,000 team members.

About The Skillman Foundation
Created in 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy committed to improving meaningful graduation rates in the Detroit region, so kids are ready for college, career, and life. The Foundation has assets of nearly a half-billion dollars, with an annual grants budget of $17 million. The Foundation works to achieve its goal by investing in community leadership, neighborhoods, safety initiatives, high-quality schools, social innovation, and youth development.

About Dynamo Metrics

Dynamo Metrics builds analytics-ready datasets for governments and helps governments use data to make better decisions. Dynamo Metrics gathers data from various government departments at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels. The result is the Space Time Analytics Data System™, or STADS™. Dynamo has recently completed D-STADS™, a data system for Detroit. Once a community has STADS™, its leaders have quick access to predictive analytics. Dynamo delivers these analytics in report- and map-based forms.


Carolyn Artman
Rock Ventures