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Detroit: "The Quality of Urban Life"

A 2-day series by Greta Guest and Victoria Turk in the Detroit Free Press examined the state of grocery stores in the city of Detroit. While the housing market in downtown Detroit is experiencing growth, a lack of desirable grocery store options is a "nagging problem in terms of the city's quality of life." Difficulty in attracting chain grocery stores to Detroit is linked, in part, to "a high number of residents on public assistance, which creates a monthly boom-and-bust cycle...About 25% of Detroit households receive cash public assistance or food stamps, compared with 11% in Chicago, 14% in Baltimore and 12% in Pittsburgh, according to 2004 U.S. Census figures, the most recent available." Additionally, Detroit stores are frequently cited for helath and safety violations. "Overall, city of Detroit stores had an average of 6.3 critical and noncritical violations a year, or double the statewide rate of 2.56. About 26% of the 327 stores represented in the state reports were free of critical violations."

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