Full Name
Becki Kenderes
Job Title
Program Director
Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
Speaker Bio
As Program Director at GRDC, Kenderes coordinates a number of strategies for the stabilization and revitalization of Grandmont Rosedale, a Detroit Black middle neighborhood. Among these programs is the Vacant Property Task Force. It is a committee of extremely active residents, formed almost 15 years ago to address the rise in vacancies in the Grandmont Rosedale community. They activities include:

- Board up & painting of vacant properties open to trespass
- Painting over hundreds of graffiti
- Disguising vacant properties to appear occupied (think: holiday decorations, driving up the driveways during snow, putting trash containers out during trash days, setting out “no handbills” signs to deter newspapers and ads from building up)
- Maintaining active communications within the neighborhoods on how to deal with vacancies
- Grass cuttings hundreds of times at vacant lots
- Successful advocacy of demolition of dangerous buildings
- Deed fraud investigations
- Code enforcement advocacy
- Identifying property ownership
- Surveying more than 5,000 properties to assess vacancy in real time using Regrid software (formally Loveland Technologies)
- Repurposing more than 30 vacant lots into green infrastructure (wild flower meadows, rose plantings, rain gardens, permeable residential parking)
- Installing bollards or split rail fencing to deter driving on lots or illegal dumping
- Leasing vacant lots from the Detroit Land Bank Authority and later purchasing them with GRDC’s support
- Establishing a tool lending library through a 40-ft shipping container (stored nearby lots to make for easy clean-up), with a second one in the works
- Installing infrastructure to support social gatherings (picnic tables, gazebo, giant concrete chess board)
- Hosting small fundraisers to raise money for their efforts (selling roses on Valentine’s Day or wreaths at Christmas) as well as applying for grants through GRDC.