DETROIT -

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and federal, state and community representatives participated in a news conference to kick off the state's largest residential blight removal effort.

The event included the demolition of five abandoned homes in Detroit.

"Neighborhoods are the fabric of our cities," Snyder said. "They must be strong and vibrant so our urban communities can thrive. Michigan’s aggressive and innovative blight reduction plan will help to stem the decay that often accompanies abandoned buildings. This local, state and federal partnership shows that we’re serious about revitalizing our cities. By encouraging residents who live in these neighborhoods to remain in their homes, we will rejuvenate our urban areas block by block."

The governor announced last week that Detroit will receive $52.3 million in anti-blight funding; Flint will get $20.1 million; Saginaw $11.2 million; Pontiac $3.7 million, and Grand Rapids $2.5 million. About $10.2 million will be reserved to tear down additional abandoned properties that may become eligible during the pilot program and for unanticipated costs.

Michigan’s $100 million anti-blight campaign comes from $500 million the state was allocated in 2010 as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s Hardest Hit Fund, designed to help homeowners in states hit hardest by the housing crisis.

Joining the governor and Miller to speak in support of the program today were: U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, state Rep. Thomas Stallworth III, Detroit City Council President Saunteel Jenkins, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.