Recently, the rise of foreclosures have led to houses being demolished by local contractors and governments, either to remove blight or build a new house. However, with the rise of demolitions have led to some of the wrong houses being demolished. Such is a unfortunate plight. Yet, the demolition of a house in a Detroit suburb seems to indicate the opposite effect, with neighbors rejoicing. They were likely rejoicing for the wrong reasons.
The house, located at 404 Edison Street in Pontiac, Michigan, just 30 miles north of Detroit and former home to the Detroit Lion, was not set for demolition by local authorities. The actual house to be destroyed by authorities was located at 398 Edison Street. However, the intended house had an address of 390 Edison Street on the street itself. Thus, demolition crews went after 404 Edison, which did not have a clear sign for its street number. Pontiac police are investigating the demolition, on the possibility that the address numbers were intentionally swapped for the sake of demolishing the wrong home.
However, rather than stop the demolition of 404 Edison Street, neighborhood residents seemed to egg it on, with one resident wanting to shake engineers' hands for bringing down the house. Apparently, 404 Edison Street had long been considered a wreck to begin with: Nobody had lived in the home for months officially, the lawn was overgrown, and the house itself was damaged and filled with trash. To many, people suspected that squatters lived in the house from time to time.
The problem with all this is, even though the neighborhood is a bit dangerous, and housing is demolished in the area from time to time, why did neighbors let this house go idle? Clearly, the property owner abandoned the house and let it rot. Why did the neighbors not step in and do something with it? The every man for himself mentality that pervades property owners when it comes to dealing with other homes is inherently lazy, but more importantly just ruins everyone else's homes in the long run. The best thing anyone could do in this situation is actually try to fix things and keep watch. But instead, we have housing being destroyed that did not need to be destroyed.