Detroit’s urban landscape will continue changing in the next few years, in part thanks to an additional $88.2 million dollars in blight removal funding. The money comes from the $188.1 million dollars the U.S. Department of Treasury awarded to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in April.
“The strategic use of these dollars will greatly benefit Michigan homeowners and strengthen communities, resulting in positive progress for people across the state,” Gov. Rick Snyder said.
Detroit will receive 75 percent of the funding, and Flint will receive 15 percent, about $17.6 million. The remaining $11.7 million will be awarded to other communities through a competitive application process.
The MSHDA will also offer help to homeowners in need of mortgage and property tax assistance through the Step Forward Michigan online application portal. The portal is now open and ready to receive applications. The $41.3 million from this most recent award combined with the $18.6 million in HHF, Hardest Hit Fund, funding means there’s now $55.9 million available to help homeowners.
“In putting together the plan, we placed a priority on using the majority of funds in the areas of greatest need and where we have been most successful,” MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer said. “We remain committed to providing a holistic solution to the state’s foreclosure problem by helping individual homeowners and by stabilizing local housing markets in Detroit and Flint, where vacancy rates remain the highest.”
To date, the Step Forward Michigan Program has disbursed over $281 million to help 31,396 Michigan homeowners with mortgage, property tax, or condominium assistance to avoid foreclosure. Since the Blight Elimination Program was introduced in the state in 2013, about 9,005 structures have been removed with approximately $138.9 million in HHF funds.
Michigan has until December 31, 2020 to use all the funds.