LANSING – Ironwood is one of 12 cities in the state to benefit from a $75 million federal program to combat blight. Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that the funding for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has been approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
“Michigan blight elimination strategy has become a national model,” Snyder said. “For too long, blight has driven down property values and stifled growth in some of our communities. This additional funding will expand the positive efforts already taking root in cities across our state, and we appreciate the support of our federal partners. This allows us to lay the groundwork for future economic success and make Michigan an even better place to live, work and play.”
The eligible cities for the Hardest Hit Funds were selected by MSHDA based on an evaluation system that included residential housing vacancy rates.
MSHDA is scheduling meetings with the selected cities this month to discuss the process for submitting strategic blight remediation plans, designating at-risk areas within city limits, estimating project costs and establishing a timeline for the work to proceed, among other considerations.
“Abandoned and blighted homes create significant safety concerns for citizens and businesses, depress home values and strain community resources,” MSHDA Acting-Executive Director Wayne Workman said. “Expanding this program will further stem the tide of foreclosures, stabilize property values and help revitalize these cities block by block.”
Michigan’s new $75 million anti-blight effort comes from the $498 million the state was allocated in 2010 as part of the Hardest Hit Fund Program, designed to help homeowners in states hardest hit by the housing crisis.