LANSING (AP) – Michigan is getting $100 million in federal aid to demolish abandoned buildings and fight blight in Detroit and four other cities, Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday.
Snyder said the U.S. Treasury Department has approved the aid.
Detroit is getting $52.3 million, Flint $20.1 million and Saginaw 11.2 million. Pontiac is getting $3.7 million and Grand Rapids $2.5 million, while $10.2 million goes to a reserve fund for additional demolition, Snyder said.
“With these federal funds, we’ll be able to launch large-scale demolition programs that strike at the blight that is weakening too many neighborhoods in these cities,” the governor said in a statement. “This aggressive anti-blight effort will help stabilize neighborhoods that have been struggling for years. As the abandoned properties come down, property values will go up, and crime will go down. That will encourage the people who live in these neighborhoods to stay in their homes and be part of the revitalization of their communities.”
Snyder’s office said the targeted demolitions represent a major expansion of ongoing effort by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and other state agencies to clean up blight in Michigan.
“As the abandoned properties come down, property values will go up, and crime will go down,” Snyder said. “That will encourage the people who live in these neighborhoods to stay in their homes and be part of the revitalization of their communities.”
Demolition work will start this month in Detroit and within several weeks in the other cities, Snyder said.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he is excited about the grant and is ready to put the money to work.
“We already have identified additional areas in our blight removal plan,” Bing said. “These new dollars will allow us to not only demolish dangerous vacant homes, but also commercial structures within our demonstration areas.”
Bing said Detroit is on target to meet his target of knocking down 10,000 vacant structures by the end of 2013.
U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint, said the aid significantly boosts efforts to restore the health of Michigan cities.
“Removing blighted homes, as these federal funds will do, will help to rebuild our neighborhoods and restore property values for homeowners. I look forward to working with local officials to maximize the impact of these funds in our neighborhoods,” he said in a statement. “In Congress, I will continue to push for additional federal resources for our state and our communities to help revitalize cities like Flint and Saginaw.”
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