Michigan Initiatives Quarterly Update: July – October 2021

This quarterly update from Community Progress’ Michigan Initiatives team highlights important revitalization news and resources from across the state. For specific inquiries or to share how your community is addressing vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties in Michigan, email Payton Heins, Director of Michigan Initiatives at [email protected]

Community Progress joins statewide coalition calling for investments in community revitalization with American Rescue Plan funds

The Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan, made up of local and state leaders from the public and private sectors, is proposing a comprehensive plan to leverage $6 billion in Michigan’s American Rescue Plan funds to support healthy and resilient communities. Some of the proposed investments in community revitalization include: 

  • $350M into the Housing & Community Development Fund and $50M into Community and Placemaking Grants for rehabilitation of vacant properties, home repair, infill housing, removal of blighted properties, and more
  • $50M for building trades training
  • $1.25B in water related infrastructure investments including for contaminated site remediation and green infrastructure 

For the full proposal and a list of coalition members, visit www.MiRoadmap.com.

Amy Hovey selected by MSHDA Board to serve as new executive director

Congratulations to Amy Hovey, former COO and Senior Vice President at Center for Community Progress, on being selected by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Board of Directors to serve as MSHDA’s new executive director! Amy’s leadership in community development and her commitment to ensuring communities have the resources to thrive are a tremendous asset to the state. 

Michigan land bank leaders gather for annual summit

The Michigan Association of Land Banks held their annual summit last week in Lansing, where staff and board members from Michigan’s 46 land banks gathered to share best practices for tackling vacant, tax foreclosed properties. Land bank leaders shared about local partnerships and funding strategies to create new affordable housing opportunities, how they are actively stewarding vacant land and rehabilitating properties, and much more. Community Progress staff presented on federal and state funding opportunities to help further this work across the state. 

Michigan Revitalization in the News

Bay County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Hopes to Spur Cooperation and Economic Growth
Bay County communities join new county Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to unlock new options and tools for attracting investors and redeveloping vacant and abandoned properties. > Read more

Benzie County Land Bank Authority Partners on Affordable Housing Project
The nonprofit housing corporation HomeStretch is building several units of affordable housing in the Village of Honor – the new construction units are on vacant lots formerly owned by the Benzie County Land Bank. > Read more

Kalamazoo Northside Zoning Changes Meant to Support Black-Owned Businesses, Enhance Housing
The Kalamazoo City Commission updated zoning in a northside neighborhood to facilitate rehabilitating existing homes and infill residential and commercial development. > Read more

Detroit Puts First Batch of Houses Stabilized with Bond Funds Up for Auction
The $250 million bond, passed last November, aims to help stabilize Detroit’s housing stock by removing a proposed 8,000 vacant houses and securing and auctioning off another 8,000. The Detroit Land Bank began listing some of the stabilized homes in August. About 2,600 vacant homes adjacent to occupied homes have been identified for or are undergoing stabilization by the Detroit Land Bank, many of which should be for sale before year end. > Read more

Genesee County Land Bank Surveys Residents on Demolition Priorities
The $250 million bond, passed last November, aims to help stabilize Detroit’s housing stock by removing a With priority areas and structure types set by residents, the Genesee County Land Bank has selected 37 vacant properties in Flint to demolish using almost half a million dollars in grant funding. The C.S. Mott Foundation awarded the funding based on the results of a community survey. > Read more

Michigan Revitalization Resources

Vacant Land Online Resource Center: View vacant land stewardship projects from Flint, Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw, and others across the country!

> Visit here

Land Bank and Community Land Trust Resource: Learn how land banks and CLTs are partnering in our new publication Land Banks and Community Land Trusts: Partnering to Provide Equitable Housing Opportunities Now and for Future Generations.

> Download here

Code Enforcement Resource: Explore tools available to Michigan communities in Revitalization in Michigan: A Guide to Transforming Vacant, Abandoned, and Deteriorated Properties through Code Enforcement.

> Download here

State Funding Opportunity: Competitive grant funding for neighborhood projects is available through MSHDA’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program. The deadline for nonprofits and local units of government to apply is December 8th.

> Learn more

State Funding Opportunity: Short term loans available to local units of government and land banks for housing redevelopment through the State Land Bank Housing Development Loan Program.

> Learn more