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      New housing development breaks ground in Flint

      The housing project calls for 80 news homes to be built. / Mike Horne

      By Cheri Hardmon

      A new housing project in Flint called Smith Village had its groundbreaking ceremony on Friday.

      Once completed, more than 80 homes will be available to buy for families with low to moderate incomes.

      "I'm very excited to break ground on the project, its taken us time to put all the partners together. Now the plan is in place and the developers are ready to go," said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.

      The city needs to have 25 homes finished by the end of 2011, otherwise they will have to pay back $1.3 million dollars to the federal government.

      Despite the pressure to get the project completed quickly, there is a lot of excitement about the new homes.

      "When I first moved here there were nice homes and they have gone down and need to be re-done," says Flint resident Laurine Harold.

      The city still has plenty of obstacles to clear to make the new development a success.

      Flint continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the United States.

      Smith Village is the only current housing development being built in Genesee County.