DETROIT (WXYZ) - Five homes in Detroit have become the first to be torn down under a new state program that is being called the largest residential blight removal effort in Michigan's history.
Governor Snyder was on hand as the homes were demolished near the University of Detroit-Mercy campus.
Snyder announced the program in June. Under the plan, which was approved by the US Treasury Department, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority can use $100 million of its Hardest Hit Fund allocation to eliminate blight.
The program is aimed at reducing foreclosures and stabilizing neighborhoods. It will target vacant and abandoned properties in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Saginaw.
“Neighborhoods are the fabric of our cities,” Snyder said. in a news release “They must be strong and vibrant so our urban communities can thrive. Michigan’s aggressive and innovative blight reduction plan will help to stem the decay that often accompanies abandoned buildings. This local, state and federal partnership shows that we’re serious about revitalizing our cities. By encouraging residents who live in these neighborhoods to remain in their homes, we will rejuvenate our urban areas block by block.”
Most of the anti-blight funding, $52.3 million, will go to Detroit. Flint will get $20.1 million, Saginaw will get $11.2 million, Pontiac will get $3.7 million and Grand Rapids will get $2.5 million.
The final $10.2 million will be reserved to tear down additional abandoned properties that may become eligible during the program. It will also be used for unanticipated costs.
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