Up to 400 Jackson Homes Could be Demolished if City Receives $10.8 Million Grant From State
On November 18, mlive.com released an article discussing the possibility of Jackson, Michigan receiving a portion of grant funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority targeted at eliminating blight.
Up to 400 Jackson homes could be demolished if city receives $10.8 million grant from state
JACKSON, MI – Up to 400 Jackson homes could be razed if city officials receive a $10.8 million grant from the state aimed at eliminated blight in Michigan communities.
City Manager Patrick Burtch said 12 communities applied for an available $75 million from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority earlier this month, including Detroit, Lansing and Adrian, among others.
Burtch said he’s confident Jackson will receive some of the money requested.
“The last time around we weren’t granted anything, and we were invited to apply this time around,” he said. “Our program is really a model for the state and we’re the third largest community to apply for funding.”
City officials began aggressively demolishing homes under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in 2011, claiming the program was a silver bullet which would eliminate blight, increase property values and decrease crime in Jackson. To date, nearly 300 properties have been razed as part of the initiative.
“We still have 800-1,000 vacant homes in Jackson,” Burtch said.
The city will not have to contribute any sort of match to receive the funding, and MSHDA officials will announce grant recipients Tuesday, Nov. 24.
The U.S. Treasury signed off on a proposal in June 2013 – the first of its kind in the nation – that allowed the MSHDA to create a blight elimination program using federal money originally set aside for mortgage relief.
Last summer, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Detroit will get $52.3 million for the program, Flint will receive $20.1 million, Saginaw $11.2 million, Pontiac $3.7 million and Grand Rapids $2.5 million.
City officials would be allowed to not only demolish homes using the grant funds, but purchase them prior to demolition as well, Burtch said.
Jackson City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday, Nov. 18, to grant Burtch the authority to oversee the program without regular council approval. “If the grant money is received, the city must move quickly to meet very fast-paced program requirements,” City Attorney Bethany Smith said in a memo requesting council members sign off on the plan.
Councilwomen Arlene Robinson, 1st Ward, and Kimberly Jaquish, 2nd Ward, voted against the request.
“I would rather see us be building this city up rather than tearing it down,” Jaquish said.
Please click here to view the article online.
Safeguard Properties is the largest mortgage field services company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs approximately 1,700 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally.