County land bank to get $2.6 million for blight elimination, demolitions in Flint neighborhood

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FLINT, Michigan — The Genesee County Land Bank announced Wednesday that it has been awarded $2.6 million to demolish vacant houses and eradicate blight in Flint's Civic Park neighborhood.

Money for the work on 225 publicly owned properties in Civic Park is coming from the federal Hardest Hit Fund through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

"These new funds will allow strategic demolitions in Civic Park that will aid in the preservation of the entire neighborhood for generations to come," said Wayne Workman, the authority's acting executive director.

The land bank owns 397 properties in Civic Park. Another 71 are recent tax foreclosures and owned by the county treasurer. Nearly all need demolition and greening due to deterioration and damage by metal and other scrappers, according to the land bank.

Once blight is removed, an estimated $5 million in improvements is expected to be made in the neighborhood by the city, churches and other organizations.

The land bank also received $20 million in Hardest Hit funds last October to demolish, green and maintain more than 1,600 properties. About 700 properties are being prepared for demolition or greening, according to the land bank.

More than 560 blighted properties have been improved, while another 343 are awaiting work.

"The Hardest Hit Fund has enabled the land bank to make the single largest investment in blight elimination that this community has seen yet," said Deborah Cherry, county treasurer and land bank chair. "Neighborhoods throughout the Flint area are now experiencing the many benefits of blight removal. We are excited that these benefits will be extended to the Historic Civic Park neighborhood to support the ongoing blight elimination work of residents and partners."

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