LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The federal government is expected to send about $188 million more to Michigan that can be used to help eliminate blight in the state’s communities.

The office of Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan said the money being announced Wednesday is in addition to earlier-approved funding for Michigan’s $74.5 million plan to help homeowners statewide avoid foreclosure and eliminate blight in Detroit and Flint.

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Kildee said in a statement that Michigan “will benefit greatly from this huge influx of federal funds.”

“Removing blight raises property values for surrounding homeowners, decreases violent crime and unlocks greater opportunity for all families,” he said. “Securing these funds has been a top priority and I look forward to seeing the real positive impact this initiative will have on neighborhoods across the state.”

The money is from the Hardest Hit Fund, which was created by the Treasury Department at the height of the housing crisis for states that had seen the greatest drops in home values. One goal was to help people facing major drops in the value of their homes avoid foreclosure.

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Michigan has now received a total of $262.59 million this year to continue the revitalization of neighborhoods.

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) called Wednesday’s announcement “a major win for Michigan” which was the direct result of a hard-fought victory to secure new funding.

“Michigan has been a national model for blight removal, which is making neighborhoods safer and spurring economic growth,” Stabenow said, in a statement. “Thanks to this new funding, and funding announced earlier this year, we can keep the momentum going.”

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