Banks finding opportunities to lend again in Detroit

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DETROIT (AP) — Banks are seeing something in Detroit that few once believed existed — opportunity.

Loan and grant programs are being offered in some of the city's less fashionable neighborhoods, where the process of renovating salvageable houses and filling them with families is a necessary step if Detroit is to continue slowing a decades-long population dive.

Obstacles include the poor condition of the housing stock, appraisals far below the asking price, shaky personal credit in one of the country's poorest economies and a debt-ridden public school system badly in need of an overhaul.

Mayor Mike Duggan recently unveiled a $40 million mortgage initiative involving several banks and the Kresge Foundation that aims to help home buyers.

Detroit-based Quicken Loans also is pledging $5 million in grants to improve vacant houses for auction.