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482088 Lives Community Based Research Project (Stacey Stevens)

Once called Northwest Goldberg, a Jewish enclave in the mid-1950’s, Zone 8 became a predominately Black neighborhood following patterns of “white flight” in the 70s. Zone 8 attributes its name to the zip code 48208, which better reflects the people who live there today than those of former Northwest Goldberg. Many of the inequalities that ravaged all of Detroit in the past decades; unemployment, addiction, persistent poverty, lack of affordable housing; Zone 8 experiences in hyper-focused ways. This deep poverty is visible seeing young men shooting dice at the no longer operational gas station at the corner of 14th and Ferry Park Street, or walking past a resident coming off a heroin high staggering down Linwood Ave. Empty apartments or homes are a major fact of life in Zone 8. The current vacancy rate is 27.5%, a rate that is 92.8% higher than all U.S. neighborhoods. Most dwellings are vacant year-round, which results in a host of associated problems. In addition, renter-occupied real estate is dominant in Zone 8. The percentage of rental properties is a staggering 86.5%. If you were to live in the property you bought here, you would be almost alone in doing so. These conditions make it difficult to foster a sense of community and identity when the landlords stay somewhere else and tenants derive no financial benefit from their rent contributions.

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