MSHDA, Saginaw County Land Bank launch "Blight Blitz" to demolish 950 vacant, foreclosed homes in Saginaw
Saginaw Mayor Pro Tem Browning, Saginaw County Treasurer Novak, U.S. Rep. Kildee, federal, state and local leaders kick off Saginaw's unprecedented $11.2 million campaign to fight blight
SAGINAW, Mich., Oct. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Saginaw-area leaders and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) today launched the largest residential blight removal effort in the city's history with the demolition of six homes in a distressed neighborhood on Saginaw's east side.
MSHDA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury, Gov. Rick Snyder, the Saginaw County Land Bank, city officials and neighborhood groups are heading the $11.2 million initiative that will demolish more than 950 vacant and foreclosed Saginaw residential properties.
"This large-scale demolition program will strike at the blight that is harming neighborhoods in Saginaw and other Michigan cities," the governor said. "Tearing down these abandoned properties will reduce crime and increase property values. That will encourage the people who live in these neighborhoods to stay in their homes and be part of the revitalization of their communities."
The Saginaw "Blight Blitz" will raze approximately 50 percent of the city's 1,800 abandoned homes located in nearly all of Saginaw's neighborhoods.
"This will be a big step toward fighting the blight that plagues too many Saginaw neighborhoods," said Saginaw Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Browning. "Cleaning up the blight and abandonment is the first step toward neighborhood revitalization."
Mayor Browning, Saginaw Interim City Manager Tim Morales, Saginaw County Treasurer and Land Bank Chair Tim Novak, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D–Flint), Michigan Consumers Energy Senior Vice President of Distribution and Customer Operations Daniel J. Malone, and other local and state officials today helped launch the first phase of Saginaw's blight eradication effort with the demolition of six homes on Fulton and Fairfax streets.
"MSHDA could not have moved forward on this initiative without the governor's strong leadership and support from our federal, state and local partners. By working together at the ground level, we will reverse the challenges caused by blight," said MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley.
Saginaw's funding comes as part of the $100 million MSHDA was allocated in July 2013 by the U.S. Treasury through the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program's Hardest Hit Fund, designed to help homeowners in states hit hardest by the housing crisis. The first-in-the-nation campaign will focus efforts on decreasing foreclosures and stabilizing neighborhoods by eliminating some of the more than 78,000 vacant and abandoned single-family and multi-family properties in Detroit as well as Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Saginaw.
"Consumers Energy is pleased to be part of this civic, private and public partnership to help revitalize Flint neighborhoods and create a better living environment for residents," Malone said. "We are doing our part to make this program successful, by retiring at no cost the natural gas services leading to each of the homes to be torn down."
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*
*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.
SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority