Michigan getting millions to fight blight
Thu, 06 Jun 2013 23:20:53 GMT —
Blight is a problem across Michigan and now neighborhoods are getting some help to the tune of $100 million in federal funding.
Broken windows, overgrown grass and littered sidewalks dot Flint neighborhoods.
â??I think this is a mess,â?? says Kenyetta Hollingsworth.
Martin Luther King Avenue on Flint's north side has seen better days.
â??They (abandoned homes) need to be torn down,â?? says Darryl Washington.
Even little D'Gotti Thompson knows something needs to be done.
â??They should be cleaned up because it would be a nice environment,â?? says the second grader.
These homes will be cleaned up, thanks in part to the U.S. Treasurey's "Hardest Hit" fund.
$20 million in federal funding is headed to Genesee County.
â??This is a really big deal,â?? says Douglas Weiland, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank.
1,600 vacant properties across the county are now facing the wrecking ball.
â??When you take all these homes down it really makes the neighborhood look better, increase property values and reduce crime,â?? adds Weiland.
The demolition crew is also heading to Saginaw County.
â??Itâ??s hard to put a number on the value of thousands and thousands of people in Flint and Saginaw waking up to a different view of their front porch,â?? says Representative Dan Kildee (D-Michigan). â??That to me is the most important value of this,â?? he adds.
â??It's probably going to look like the forest, we can start camping next door,â?? says Washington.
Heâ??s ready to pitch a tent if it means a better neighborhood.
â??To an extent it'll be better because at least the kids will have a place to play,â?? says the Flint resident.
Even Dâ??gotti thinks demolition of abandoned homes will be better for the community.
â??A big one (difference),â?? says Thompson.
The federal dollars are also headed to Detroit, Grand Rapids and Pontiac.
Demolition is set to begin summer 2013.