DETROIT, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he is offering police officers the chance to buy renovated homes in the city for $1,000 under his new urban regeneration plan.
Detroit will dip into federal stimulus money to refurbish about 200 abandoned houses in the Boston-Edison and East English Village neighborhoods as part of Bing's Public Works Project, which intends to reclaim Detroit by encouraging people to populate certain neighborhoods, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
The city is using $30 million of its $41 million from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Fund.
The mayor said the incentives won't cost Detroit anything.
"We hope this can be a model for the nation," Bing said.
More than half of Detroit's police and firefighters live outside the city, and Bing said if those city employees take up the offer of moving back into the city, it would decrease crime and create a better relationship between police and residents.
"We hope this serves as a call to action for other corporations, organizations and individuals to live where they work," Bing said. "Detroiters want to live in safe, clean neighborhoods. They deserve nothing less."
Police Chief Ralph Godbee says he supports Bing's initiative.
"Other mayors have given up, saying there isn't residency available," Godbee said. "We are so excited about this program."