Millions in federal funding available for residential blight elimination across Michigan

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation (MHA) in conjunction with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority is extending the deadline to receive proposals from local units of government for targeted blight elimination. MSHDA

The $11.7 million in funds comes from $188.1 million the state received from the U.S. Department of the Treasury under its Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program in April to further stem the tide of foreclosure. At that time, Detroit and Flint were awarded $88.2 million and $17.6 million, respectively, because of their high residential property vacancy rates.

“This is a new opportunity for communities across the state to participate in our blight elimination program. Pushing back the deadline gives municipalities extra time to compose their competitive applications,” MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer said. “For some, this may be the first time they have applied for this type of funding.”

Expanding the program means more communities will have a chance to clear abandoned residential properties that can attract crime and lower property values.

“These funds can help local governments and partners eliminate blight, stabilize neighborhoods, and improve property values and quality of life,” said Mary Townley, MHA vice president and MSHDA Homeownership director.

Communities with populations of 50,000 or less are eligible to receive a minimum award of $250,000 and a maximum of $1 million. Larger communities with populations greater than 50,000, are eligible to receive a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of $5 million in blight elimination funding.

Local units of government that want to spark private investment and development are prime candidates for funding. Support for current investment projects, and an interest in increasing the values of the surrounding areas, are other important factors applicants should note.

To be eligible, a local unit of government must work in partnership with a local land bank or existing blight partner in the state. Existing blight partners are:

  • Michigan Land Bank
  • Detroit Land Bank
  • Kent County Land Bank
  • Saginaw County Land Bank
  • Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
  • Gogebic County Land Bank
  • Muskegon County Land Bank
  • John George Home, Inc.
  • Port Huron Neighborhood Housing Corporation
  • Lenawee County Land Bank
  • Ingham County Land Bank
  • Genesee County Land Bank

All local units of government and their potential partners must compile and submit a formal request for participation in the Hardest Hit Blight Elimination Program. Details and a complete description of application criteria can be found here. The application deadline has been extended to August 5.