Michigan Communities Achieve National Main Street Accreditation

Dec 19, 2012, 12:03 ET from Michigan State Housing Development Authority

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) announced today that eleven communities have been recognized as Nationally Accredited Main Street communities by the National Trust Main Street Center and the Michigan Main Street Center at MSHDA. Those recognized are Boyne City, Calumet, Hart, Howell, Iron Mountain, Manistee, Niles, Old Town Lansing, Owosso, Portland, and Scottville.

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The Michigan Main Street Center is part of MSHDA's effort to create vibrant communities across the state. Numerous recent studies show that investing in our downtowns creates vibrant centers where people want to live, work and invest. The mission of the Michigan Main Street Center at MSHDA is to encourage community revitalization and economic development through:

  • Organization: assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a Main Street revitalization program
  • Promotion: selling a positive image of the commercial district and encouraging consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district
  • Design: capitalizing on the district's best assets, such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets
  • Economic restructuring: strengthening a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base

"The Michigan Main Street Program provides communities with the tools needed to develop into thriving districts," said Laura Krizov, manager of the Michigan Main Street Center at MSHDA. "These tools can be used to create jobs, attract and retain residents and investment while building a sense of place in Michigan communities."

Each of the Michigan Main Street Selected and Master Level communities is evaluated annually using a year-end evaluation process and accreditation criteria. This criterion is intended to assist each community in performing up to National Accreditation standards as prescribed by the National Trust Main Street Center. Though accreditation as a Michigan Main Street community is a significant milestone, it is also critical for the community to maintain the accreditation status once it has been earned.

Communities with a traditional downtown or neighborhood commercial district can be selected annually as an Associate Level Michigan Main Street Community.  After completion of one year of Associate Level training, as well as a multi-step application process based on the four key points mentioned, communities are eligible to move up to the Selected Level.

Currently, the Michigan Main Street Center works with 21 Associate Level, five Selected Level and 11 Master Level communities.  The National Trust Main Street Center's 30-year program encompasses over 1200 communities in 43 states.

Individuals interested in more information can contact Laura Krizov, manager of the Michigan Main Street Center at 517-241-4237, or krizovl@michigan.gov, or visit the Michigan Main Street website at www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com

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