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Michigan Communities Achieve National Main Street Accreditation

MSHDA News Release       

Contact: Mary Lou Keenon
Communications
Telephone: 517/373-0011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2010

Michigan Communities Achieve National Main Street Accreditation

Lansing Keith Molin, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) today announced that four Michigan Main Street communities have been awarded National Accreditation through the Michigan Main Street Center @ MSHDA. The four downtown communities to be recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Center as accredited Main Street communities are; Scottville, Old Town Lansing, Howell and Iron Mountain. These four communities join an additional five communities who were previously accredited and are now at the Master Level of the Michigan Main Street program.

The Michigan Main Street Center @ MSHDA is part of Authority's efforts to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on numerous recent studies showing that investing in our downtowns creates vibrant centers where people want to live, work and invest, making our state economically stronger. The underlying premise of the Michigan Main Street Center @ MSHDA is to encourage community economic development through:

  • Organization: getting everyone working toward the same goal and 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: getting the Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets, such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets, is just part of the story.
  • Economic restructuring: strengthening a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.

Communities with traditional downtowns or neighborhood commercial districts can be selected annually as a Selected Level Michigan Main Street community as the result of a multi-step application process based on the key points mentioned above. Additionally, communities must complete training for one year at the Associate Level prior to being eligible to apply for the Selected Level.

"The Michigan Main Street Program provides communities with the tools needed to develop into thriving districts," said Molin. "These tools can be used to create jobs, provide enjoyment and build a sense of community for Michigan residents."

Each of the Michigan Main Street Selected Level communities is evaluated annually using a year-end evaluation process and accreditation criteria intended to assist each community in performing up to national accreditation standards as prescribed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center. Though it is a critical moment for a Michigan Main Street community to become accredited, it is equally critical for the community to maintain the accreditation status once it has been earned.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority is dedicated to building a thriving and vibrant future for Michigan. MSHDA provides tools and resources to improve people's lives through programs across the state. These programs assist with housing, build strong neighborhoods, and help create places where people want to live and work. MSHDA's programs work in four areas: affordable rental housing; supporting homeownership; ending homelessness; and creating vibrant cites and neighborhoods.*

*MSHDA's loan 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.

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