MSHDA Grant helps Land Bank's efforts to restore Flint

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - They're buildings people have been waiting to see be demolished, and it's finally happening thanks to a grant from the State of Michigan.

The buildings are hard to miss, with their graffiti, broken windows, and over gown brush; but soon with the new grant the blighted and vacant buildings will be demolished making way for new life in the city of Flint.

It has been in the works for awhile now, but finally the vacant buildings along N. Saginaw St, Ballenger Highway and Averill Ave are coming down.

"The building visually kind of speaks for itself but the data also speaks to the need," says Michelle Wildman the executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank. "The fire safety calls the deterioration of property values in this area . To make redevelopment happen we have to eliminate certain blighted properties when they cant be redeveloped."

With a $500,000 grant from the Michigan State Housing development Authority, the Genesee County Land Bank authority is able to continue those plans.

"This particular competitive application was focused on redevelopment areas so we worked closely with the city of Flint," says Wildman.

For life long residents like Rev. Jacob Hawkins, who can remember that building actually being used, he says he's happy to see the eye sore coming down.

"We are actually elated to see all of this activity in the Smith village area, Its long waited and much appreciated," says Hawkins.

The environmental surveys are already started at all 3 projects in hopes to have demolition going by 2018.