Detroit Gets Another $88M to Aid in Blight Fight

Christine Ferretti, The Detroit News, June 1, 2016

Detroit’s getting another $88 million for its blight fight, while a $17.6 million boost is on the way for Flint, state housing officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Treasury Department approved the allocation plan under its Hardest Hit Fund program. In total, Michigan was awarded $188.1 million in federal blight dollars in April as part of the latest round of funding.

Besides Detroit and Flint, $11.7 million in blight funds will be sent to other communities through a competitive application process, officials said. Other dollars will be directed toward foreclosure prevention and homeowner assistance.

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Detroit’s demolition program is the subject of several ongoing audits and reviews. Federal investigators have subpoenaed for documents. Last month, the FBI’s Detroit office also acknowledged it’s investigating the program.

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The federal government in February made a $2 billion commitment to the Hardest Hit Fund, which was created to assist homeowners facing foreclosure in the wake of the Great Recession and mortgage industry meltdown but was later expanded to allow spending on blight prevention.

Michigan originally received $498 million from the fund when the program was announced in 2010.

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