WASHINGTON, D.C. — The scale of the fight against blight in Saginaw and other Michigan’s cities, strengthened since 2013 by a major infusion of federal funding, is about to get a whole lot bigger.
The U.S. Treasury has authorized the state to spend about $188.1 million from the Hardest Hit Fund on blight reduction mortgage relief efforts in Michigan, according to information released by federal officials Wednesday, April 20.
That effectively doubles the resources already in hand that could be used to clear away blighted homes in Michigan’s urban cores, according to U.S. Rep. Dan Kidlee, D-Flint Township.
“Obviously, that is a big boost,” Kildee said. “This will help, in terms of communities trying to rebuild their local economies.”
The congressman — who represents all of Bay and Genesee counties and parts of Saginaw County — is a key advocate of blight elimination efforts in the state, dating back to his term as treasurer in Genesee County.
After years of work chipping away at issues with blight in his hometown of Flint and elsewhere across Michigan, Kildee said it feels good to have helped secure such a large chunk of funding for the effort.
“I’ve been working on this since 1999,” he said. “Congress really helped me bring it to a scale that is equal to size of the problem.”
Michigan’s $188 million share is part $1 billion in funding approved nationwide. Of the allocations, Michigan claims the largest portion.
Faculty in the MSU Land Policy Institute and the School of Planning, Design and Construction recently completed a study on a new “Integrated Asset Management” model that focuses on neglected infrastructure and vacant properties in legacy cities. The Michigan Applied Public Policy Research (MAPPR) Paper was funded by the MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR).
The American Planning Association (APA) hosted their 2016 National Planning Conference Apr. 2-5, 2016, in Phoenix, AZ. On Monday, Apr. 4, the Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, co-presented at the breakout session on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. Additional presenters include:
The American Planning Association (APA) is hosting their 2016 National Planning Conference beginning on Saturday through Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. On Monday, April 4, 2016, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., the Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, will co-present the breakout session on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. Additional presenters include:
- James Tischler from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and
- Luke Forrest from the Michigan Municipal League.
This session features a case study with potential replicability at the state, regional or local levels. The presenters will explain how a small group of stakeholders organized as the Michigan Sense of Place Council and then grew into a much larger organization. The focus is on improving the quality and amount of redevelopment in targeted centers (downtowns), nodes and corridors by use of effective placemaking that is rooted in good urban form and broad stakeholder participation. Products include:
- An innovative six-module Placemaking Curriculum with more than 100 trainers (and more than 15,000 people trained),
- Funding of two dozen PlacePlans,
- Realignment of more than $1 billion in state grant spending around largely urban placemaking objectives and
- Promotion of a Redevelopment Ready Communities certification program, among other efforts.