Monday, November 16, 2009

Shrinking Cities in Michigan

Dan Kildee may be moving on from the Genesee County Land Bank, but his ideas are spreading.

Vince Bond Jr. of Great Lakes Echo reports:
Time could be running out for abandoned and dilapidated homes plaguing the property values of some Michigan neighborhoods.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MHSDA) is seeking $290 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its New Michigan Urban Neighborhood plan targeting the 12 largest municipalities, including Lansing, Detroit, Highland Park, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Others target areas are Pontiac, Wyandotte, Hamtramck, Battle Creek, Flint, Saginaw and Benton Harbor.

The projects would revitalize neighborhoods by renovating or demolishing abandoned houses while improving the potential for private businesses looking to open shops in thriving areas, said Rick Ballard, director of the MSHDA office of community development.

If the plan is funded, about 6,000 abandoned, foreclosed or vacant properties will be acquired and redeveloped, 2,500 structures will be torn down, and 1,500 homes will be built or rehabilitated.

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at