In a recent column for The Renewal Project
, Global Detroit director Steve Tobocman wrote about a new tool his organization helped develop for understanding the number of people that can afford a rehabbed home in a given city, and how many of these people are immigrants.
advocates for immigrants as a way to strengthen Detroit's economy. This tool was part of research conducted in collaboration with the Welcoming Economies Global Network and the Fiscal Policy Institute.
"[The results] suggest that immigrants represent some of the brightest potential for revitalizing urban communities, especially those with vacant and distressed properties," writes Tobocman.
Rust belt cities like Detroit represent a high percentage of these communities. The tool, meant for use by city planners, developers, and the like, "reveals that in 22 of 23 cities, immigrant households have the highest prospect among existing renters to be able to afford such a home."
Tobocman goes on to write: "While immigrants remain a smaller portion of the population of these cities (just 11 percent of the total), they remain a critical component for successfully revitalizing neighborhoods and stabilizing population loss. In fact, no great American city that lost population over the last 50 years has been able to grow its population without substantial increase in immigrant population."
[For more, check out Model D's article
on the ways Metro Detroit is helping its immigrant population]