DETROIT – Citizens today cleaned up the land around one of many vacant Detroit properties owned by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun — then attempted to drop the garbage from that and five of his other properties off at his office. But security for the building, as well as officers from the Warren Police Department, stood guard to prevent the garbage from being delivered.
Thanks to the hard work of volunteers who have cut grass, cleared brush and picked up litter — and no thanks to Moroun — six of Moroun’s more than 400 vacant properties have been cleaned up recently, with more to come in the days and weeks ahead. The trash hauled Friday from those sites was enough to fill a 24-foot U-HAUL truck. A makeshift “Matty” was presented with a bill for the clean-up services, along with job applications to show that the trash removal could have provided work for Detroiters.
“Matty Moroun is a billionaire slumlord who owns countless unsafe, unoccupied and dilapidated properties throughout Detroit, which discourage jobs and investments from coming to Michigan,” said JoMeca Thomas, spokeswoman for the Good Jobs Now coalition, which helped organize the cleanup. “Instead of allowing slumlords like Matty Moroun to turn our cities into symbols of disrepair and despair, we should be rebuilding them.”
Today’s cleanup took place at 8172 Kenney St. in Detroit. The Kenney site and other Moroun vacant properties are featured on “Matty Moroun’s Parade of Slums,” which can be found at www.mattymoroun.com.
“We hope that by cleaning up some of Matty Moroun’s properties, he will take the hint and start using his considerable wealth to improve Detroit’s neighborhoods, instead of leaving them in shambles,” cleanup volunteer Linda Dennis-Goss said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s not willing to take out his own trash, however.”
A Moroun spokesman told the Detroit News in an article published today that Moroun’s real estate holdings company has begun an “aggressive and specific initiative” to deal with the slums, including hiring people to inspect the residential properties.