Michigan to get millions from government for blight removal

Money is from U.S. Department of Treasury's 'Hardest Hit Fund'


DETROIT – Michigan political leaders on Friday announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury will begin distributing millions in Hardest Hit Funds to Michigan to fight blight.

Michigan will receive $74.49 million immediately from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund and is eligible to receive up to an additional $249 million this April to continue the revitalization of neighborhoods across the state.

The announcement was made in a joint statement from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI).

Since 2010, 16 communities across Michigan- including Detroit, Adrian, Ecorse, Flint, Grand Rapids, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Inkster, Ironwood, Jackson, Lansing, Muskegon Heights, Pontiac, Port Huron, River Rouge, and Saginaw– have utilized $440.8 million from the fund to provide homeowner assistance, remove blight, and support other efforts to revitalize neighborhoods.

The Treasury Department will be distributing the $2 billion in two separate parts. The first $1 billion will automatically be allocated to 18 states and the District of Columbia based on population size, need and how much previous Hardest Hit Funds have been drawn down. Based on this criteria, Michigan will receive $74.49 million.

The next $1 billion will be distributed to eligible states through a competitive application process. The Treasury Department will take into account whether states have a proven track record of efficiently using Hardest Hit Funds and the immediate need for additional funding. A state will not be able to apply for more than either $250 million or half of the money they have already received from the Fund. Because Michigan is a national model of how to successfully turn Hardest Hit Fund dollars into demolitions, the state is in a strong position to receive a significant amount of funds through this competitive process.

Applications for all states will be due to the Treasury Department in March with funding announcements to be made in April.