CC image courtesy of paul bica on Flickr
It’s the Renaissance City—the motherland of American craftsmanship and industrial culture. It is the anvil where countless dreams have been hammered, melded and forged into something real by steady hands. It is the city of Detroit, and there is no other place like it on Earth.
How can one describe with accuracy the strength and unrivaled beauty of a city—a community—that fears neither grit, sweat nor failure? There are no words to justly explain its gilded buildings bathed in Michigan sky, the rich history of workmanship and an unyielding gaze towards the future. Perhaps it is simply enough to know that Detroit is a part of us all.
You don’t even have to live there to know it. The chances are that some product, process, philosophy, or far-reaching idea born in Detroit has been woven into each of our lives in humble Midwest fashion. The city’s attitude, studded with confidence, creativity and perseverance, has shaped what is means to be American.
The above is one of many reasons why we were ecstatic to take part in the Rehabbed and Ready program with our sister company Quicken Loans this summer in Detroit. The program is a partnership between the Detroit Land Bank, Quicken Loans and Home Depot aimed at bringing stability to Detroit’s neighborhood housing values. It includes the renovation of 65 homes in key neighborhoods, thus providing “opportunity to thousands of homeowners in the surrounding neighborhood, as it will allow more accurate appraised values which will generate home financing in the area,” according to Mayor Mike Duggan.
The Detroit Land Bank is providing vacant homes in need of repair while Quicken Loans will provide a $5 million grant/funding, as well as offer financing for the properties to qualified buyers. Home Depot is carrying out the actual renovations with the help of contractors. Protect America, through its existing relationship with Quicken Loans and the Rockbridge Growth Equity family of companies, will furnish each home with a security system and branded yard sign.
“To us, the Rehabbed and Ready program means so much more than security systems in renovated homes,” said Protect America President and CEO Scott Fleming. “What’s happening in Detroit is truly inspiring. Detroit is showing us that where there is a willingness… anything is possible. To see community and business leaders come together and work towards revitalization in such an impactful way is truly awesome. We’re excited to be a part of it.”
The Rehabbed and Ready program kicked off in late August with an event attended by program participants, press and community activists. Among the speakers was Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans. “The neighborhoods of Detroit are already starting to turn around. Blighted homes are being removed at a record pace. Other homes are being renovated and we have even seen residential new construction in neighborhoods get underway for the first time in decades,” said Gilbert. “The Rehabbed and Ready program adds another critical component to neighborhood revival as it addresses the critical issue of rebuilding the market so appraisal values can be rationalized to allow financing to come back to the housing eco-system in Detroit.”
Without a beating heart, what is a city besides brick and stone? People—with all of their hopes, dreams, talent and tenacity—are what make a city. This program reminds us all that the people of the Motor City are extraordinary, indeed.
Detroit, the anvil that shaped America, is Rehabbed and Ready.