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Gov. Whitmer Awards $21.5 Million for Blight Elimination to Communities Across the State
September 21, 2023
LANSING, MI – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer awarded $21.5 million for blight elimination grants to communities across Michigan under next round of the program. The funds are part of $75 million in blight elimination resources allocated in the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2023 budget to make communities across Michigan more attractive to live and work.
“Eliminating blight frees up space for homes and small businesses and makes our communities safer, better places to live, work, and invest,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am grateful to cities and towns across our state who are utilizing these resources to clear blight, supporting economic development and job growth in downtowns and main streets. Let’s keep working together to help more families and businesses ‘make it’ in Michigan and make long overdue investments to foster stronger, healthier, and more vibrant communities.”
The bipartisan FY 2023 Budget appropriated $75 million to the State Land Bank Authority (SLBA) to help the state build safer, more prosperous communities and convert underutilized land into productive space.
Earlier this year, round one of the program provided nearly $8 million in grant funding to address 198 properties across Michigan. Of those properties, 159 will be demolished, 37 will be stabilized and two grants provide gap funding for an environmental remediation project.
Most recently, round two provided a competitive grant process with $13.5 million awarded to 43 counties for demolition, renovation, and stabilization of blighted properties. Details of the awards made in Rounds 1 and 2 are available on the State Land Bank website.
“We are in the midst of one of the greatest land banking and blight elimination investments in our state’s history,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and chair of the State Land Bank Board of Directors. “As we continue to progress with the deployment of these funds, we are focused on transforming the physical landscape of our state and breathing new life into neglected areas – ultimately helping us create opportunities for businesses and communities to thrive, new jobs to emerge and our economy to grow well into the future.”
Moving forward, round 3 will consist of issuing grant agreements for county and city land banks. Round 4 will be strictly competitive and will be released around Oct. 1, 2023. Funds awarded under Rounds 3 and 4 must have the dollars obligated by August 1, 2024 and projects completed by September 30, 2026.
“The deployment of each round of blight elimination funding represents a powerful step towards our vision and focus on stabilizing neighborhoods, repurposing and redeveloping properties, building more equitable communities, creating more options for affordable housing and improving the overall quality of life for Michiganders,” Corbin added. “The State Land Bank Authority continues to be dedicated to ensuring these critical resources are leveraged effectively.”
To learn more about the SLBA’s efforts to improve communities across Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/landbank.