LANSING, Mich. – Nineteen cities across Michigan will receive funding for residential and commercial blight elimination projects using more than $3.6 million in grants from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Executive Director Earl Poleski announced today.
“An investment in blight elimination is an investment in the future of our great state,” Poleski said. “These blight grants will trigger economic growth and improve public safety in towns and neighborhoods from the U.P. to southeastern Michigan.”
County land banks and local units of government were invited to submit eligible projects for a MSHDA-funded blight elimination grant opportunity by late June. The call for applications asked for project proposals that would lead to improved public safety, stabilized or increased property values and/or support efforts that were currently in progress.
All structures targeted for demolition are vacant, publicly-owned and meet specific blight criteria including being deemed a public nuisance, identified as dangerous to public safety or have had critical internal systems disconnected or rendered ineffective.
The maximum award amount was set at $25,000 per residential structure or $100,000 per commercial structure. Residential proposals had to prove that the building’s last use was as a multi- or single-family residential structure and commercial projects had to be part of development plans with existing funding commitments and required a local match of at least 10 percent.
Thirty-six applications came in from all over the state, totaling nearly $6.2 million in requests for funding.
City of Bay City
Grant amount: $250,000
The funding will be utilized in Bay City to demolish 22 tax-foreclosed structures identified in Bay City’s Housing Improvement Strategy or that fall within areas that have been targeted as having highly clustered low state equalized value in the city. Of the 22 structures, three lie outside of target areas, but removal will have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
City of Saginaw
Grant amount: $500,000
The funding will be utilized in Saginaw to demolish 67 land bank-owned blighted residential structures. Demolition of blighted housing in the area will promote safety and raise property values in neighborhoods. Empty lots allow for businesses to expand, new businesses to grow and new residents to move in.
Genesee County Land Bank Authority
Grant amount: $500,000
The funding will be utilized in Flint to tear down seven blighted commercial properties that are located in key nodes within Flint’s Innovation District. The demolition projects will take place in collaboration with public and private sector partners, including the City of Flint, the Flint and Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Genesee Metropolitan Planning Commission, and private developers.