The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has granted $448,029 to the Genesee County Land Bank to help reduce blight in the city of Flint in response to how residents voted to strengthen neighborhoods.
Mott announced in August that it would fully fund seven neighborhood projects and partially fund an eighth project — for a total of $1 million in related support — based on how Flint residents voted between July 28 and Aug. 11.
The grant to the Genesee County Land Bank will fund three of the top eight projects residents said they wanted to see happen. The efforts the grant will support and the dollar amounts residents voted to allocate to each are as follows:
Demolish vacant houses that are beyond repair | $150,553
Take down properties that have been burned | $139,378
Demolish homes listed on the city’s property portal that are designated as needing demolition but currently no funds are available | $158,098
“During our community conversations last fall, residents expressed growing frustration over blight,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation.
“They then showed with their votes just how important the issue is to them,” White added. “We’re eager to continue working with the community to fight blight and strengthen the city’s neighborhoods.”
The grant to the land bank will fund the demolition of about 30 structures, according to Executive Director Michael Freeman. The organization is asking for the community’s input to prioritize properties for demolition.
“It’s important to hear from Flint residents before deciding which blighted properties to address first,” said Freeman. “Blight throughout our neighborhoods is a big issue to tackle, but we are eager to work alongside residents toward a common goal of strengthening neighborhoods.”
Residents have until Nov. 30 to provide input through a survey available via thelandbank.org. The Land Bank will share updates on its website and Facebook page.
The grant to the Land Bank is the second awarded through community-led grantmaking that’s part of the foundation’s Focus on Flint initiative. On Nov. 6, Mott announced it had granted $121,406 to the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity to help provide home maintenance repair services for seniors in Flint.
A complete list of the eight projects that will be supported by the $1 million in Mott funding and further information about the Focus on Flint initiative are available at focusonflint.org/updates.