Quicken Loans' Gilbert testifies in Detroit bankruptcy trial, points out city's challenges

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

Businessman Dan Gilbert has testified during Detroit's bankruptcy trial that the city's high crime rate, poor school system, unemployment and blighted neighborhoods are its major challenges.

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The founder of mortgage lender Quicken Loans also said Wednesday that $850 million is needed to wipe out Detroit's blight, which includes tens of thousands of abandoned houses and trash-filled lots.

Gilbert was one of the leaders on a blight removal task force that looked at all city properties.

State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr also is expected to testify Wednesday in the trial overseen by federal Judge Steven Rhodes. Rhodes is to decide if Detroit's plan to remove $7 billion in debt is fair to creditors.

Orr's debt restructuring plan sets aside more than $1 billion for improving city services, including blight eradication.