Michigan communities will see $15 million for blight fight

Statewide funding from settlement to help eliminate blight in 34 communities

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LANSING, Mich. - Michigan will receive $15 million in funding to help eliminate blight in 34 communities statewide.

Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan made the announcement Wednesday.

The money comes from a March 2012 settlement reached by 49 state attorneys general, including Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, following a lawsuit over mortgage foreclosure practices.

Of Michigan's $97.2 million share, the state allocated $25 million to the creation of a Blight Elimination Program to help communities demolish vacant and abandoned properties.

The Blight Elimination Program is a partnership between DHS, the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority (MLB) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

All geographic regions of the state have been represented in funding decisions.

Last year, Michigan received $97 million as part of a settlement with big banks accused of questionable foreclosure practice during the housing crisis.

Nearly a quarter of the money was designated for blight elimination.

Detroit received $10 million to demolish blighted houses and buildings around schools. The other $15 million is being spread around the state.

Read: Detroit has new nonprofit partner to fight blight

"The volume of requests received clearly shows Michigan communities are serious about getting rid of blight and are willing to aggressively pursue opportunities to eliminate it," said Corrigan, also a member of the MSHDA Board of Directors. "People want to live in safe and vibrant communities. Funding these individual projects across our state will help clear the way—literally—for the reinvention of Michigan."

Various communities to see funding:

Genesee County Land Bank: $3,713,240

Ingham County Land Bank: $836,850

City of Plainwell: $720,720

City of Bay City: $269,325

Charter Twp. Of Ypsilanti: $653,840     

Grand Traverse County: $44,000

Village of Newberry: $180,000   

Kalamazoo County Land Bank: $936,915

City of Muskegon: $111,500

City of Petoskey: $21,000                                                           

City of Onaway : $14,000

Leelanau County Land Bank: $58,500

More than 90 separate requests for funds were received by the state during the recent application phase. Communities can apply for funding at www.michigan.gov.

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