Detroit makes strides one year after exiting bankruptcy, Moody's says

The city's economic and fiscal health are stronger almost one year after exiting bankruptcy, but Detroit faces serious risks regarding future pension payments, Moody's Investors Service Inc. said Monday.

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Here are some of the improvements since Detroit exited bankruptcy in December 2014:

  • 7,100 of an estimated 40,000 vacant houses demolished since May 2014.
  • Land Bank has closed on 560 of 21,000 houses it owns. Of the 1,100 that have been put up for auction, bids have been received on 843 houses.
  • Agreements reached with owners of 500 vacant homes to rehab the properties or face legal action by the city.
  • Response times on 911 priority calls down to about nine minutes from reported 50 minutes for all 911 calls.
  • 10 new fire rigs and 15 ambulances added to Fire/EMS fleet; six rescue squad vehicles ordered.
  • 80 new public city buses added, allowed the city to meet posted schedules for the first time in about 20 years.
  • Public Lighting Authority installed 58,000 LED streetlights with another 7,000 coming by the end of next year.

Sources: Associated Press via City of Detroit, Detroit Land Bank and Detroit Public Lighting Authority

Employment is rising and the city's revenue estimates are beating projections ahead of the Dec. 10 anniversary of Detroit exiting the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history, the service said in an analysis Monday.

"City leaders and management are taking aggressive steps to revitalize the economy and sustain the current positive trends," Moody's Assistant Vice President Matthew Butler wrote. "These efforts are aimed at generating much-needed revenue growth to meet notable expenditure obligations over the next eight years."

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