Public Comment: Future of Health, residents need more

My name is Eden Bloom, I’m a resident of District 5, I also work in the impact area, but this is a personal comment.

I’m requesting that the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors NOT move the Future of Health project forward without demanding the developers do better for the residents who will be negatively impacted.

Most of the tax incentives, resources and captures requested will subsidize the construction of three (3) luxury apartment buildings including mostly studio and one-bedroom apartments. These will predominantly benefit Tom Gores and the Detroit Pistons. While they are losing this season, I don’t think our tax resources will help them on the court. Tax captures for this project may last for the next 35 years. This is a majority renter community and most of the people who live in the impact area are low-income.

I am fundamentally opposed to any project or development model that accesses resources for education and/or other needed public services. I also recognize that this board is appointed to move these projects and this model forward. However, I implore you to use whatever tools and resources you all have to alter the trajectory of this project and our city toward justice and equity.

These projects are not working for our majority Black city, and you all have an opportunity – I would argue a responsibility – to intervene for better outcomes. Most recently a Detroit Future City report detailed the difference in life expectancy between white Detroiters at 76 years and Black Detroiters only living, on average, 68 years. The most recent census reports a decline in the Black population of Detroit by 100,000 the past 10 years. I often wonder how the decisions made at this table have influenced those outcomes.

The economic impact of the Future of Health project will further segregate the city by class, race and occupation contributing to neighborhood inequality. As the cost of living in the impact area increases, the economics of the neighborhood will change driving many long time Detroiters and small businesses out of the area. We’ve seen it over and over again.

Please take up your power on behalf of those whose voices have been unwelcome in these discussions because they do not fit into the developers plans. The Planning and Development Department has again been extremely heavy handed in this process and influenced the outcomes away from racial equity and community return on investment. The process has failed again to do what it is supposed to do. If it was working, residents who were not heard (again) would not be coming to you (again). Please intervene and change it this time.

Thank you for entering my comment into the record.

Eden Bloom
District 5 Resident