Federal dollars set aside for blight cleanup

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Towns and cities across the nation will now have a new opportunity to revitalize their neighborhoods.

The Hardest Hit Fund was established in 2010 to provide resources for blight remediation to help struggling homeowners. Since that time, Michigan has received nearly $500 million from the fund, and they’re about to receive a lot more. The Department of the Treasury will soon transfer as much as $2 billion to the fund, and Michigan is sure to benefit.

“We’ve been working very, very hard to support our cities to make sure that neighborhood redevelopment and blight can continue, which is being done so very effectively in Detroit and Flint and across the state. We have Pontiac and Benton Harbor and Lansing, Grand Rapids, all the way up to Ironwood using funds,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

“These are urban areas all across the state of Michigan that are now going to have additional funding available for being involved in what is an absolutely critical economic development tool, and that’s eliminating blight. If you’re going to get people to move back into our urban areas, and in particular the neighborhoods, then you have to get rid of the buildings that need to be torn down so that folks will invest in those neighborhoods,” added Senator Gary Peters (D-MI).

Stabenow stated that she expects several million from the fund to come into the state.