Flint Approves Funding for $45 Million Blight Removal Project | Local
GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – There are more than 2,400 properties in Genesee County scheduled for demolition and 94% of them are located in the city of Flint.
All of the homes are on the Genesee County Land Bank Authority’s unfunded demolition list, meaning the county and city of Flint don’t have the money to demolish them.
That changes after the city of Flint approved the allocation of $16 million for a $45 million project to demolish vacant structures and clean up a significant amount of burns.
A house on the corner of Vernon and Pennsylvania Avenues and the nearby Washington Elementary School that burned down in October are collapsing and filling with debris.
Raymond Bradshaw has lived opposite the site for about three years.
“It looks doomed – no grass, nothing. It looks terrible,” he said.
Flint Elementary School in Washington is set on fire again
Michael Freeman, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank Authority, said these were properties resulting from defacement, abandonment and foreclosures. These properties lacked funds to be demolished.
“We know we don’t want the city to have to cover that entire bill,” Freeman said. “So working with the administration, with the mayor, with the county commissioners as well, we’re looking to structure a very high leverage program.”
Freeman said federal, state and local government money would be spent to demolish more than 2,400 structures in Genesee County. About 94% of them are located in Flint.
A $45 million blight elimination project includes $30 million from the county through a state and federal program, with the remainder coming from the city of Flint.
Freeman said the demolition and cleanup project will address chronic burning and crime, which residents often cite as the two main issues plaguing Flint. He thinks the project will make the community safer.
“These neighborhoods that are typically left behind and haven’t been given the resources they need to live in a way that all humans should be able to live. We can finally do something about this problem,” said- he declared.
Freeman hopes to get started right away, but they have to wait for the contract to be generated by the city and all of their partners. He expects the project to take about three or four years to demolish the structures.
Although demolitions won’t start right away, crews can start inspecting properties to make sure utilities are off and there aren’t any environmental issues for contractors to deal with.