Earlier this year, Michigan received $97.2 million as part of a nationwide lawsuit regarding mortgage foreclosure practices. This spring, after negotations between the Legislature and Michigan Attorney General Schuette, legislation was enacted (Public Act 296 of 2012) allocating use of the funds.
Of the $97.2 million, $25 million is being used to create a Blight Elimination Program for the purpose of demolishing blighted, vacant, and abandoned properties in order to promote public safety, stabilize property values and enhance economic development opportunities.
The legisation allocates $10 million to Detroit and $15 million for projects in other areas of the state. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Michigan Land Bank Fast Tracksec Authority have been charged with administering the funds, selecting project areas, and facilitating the demolition of structures.
The application for the program is now open and local governments are eligible entities under the program. For more information see the program statement here.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reaached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail