Settlement agreement signed, families to move in - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Settlement agreement signed, families to move in at Smith Village

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(09/26/12) - Flint's Smith Village is finally on track to move forward.

That from Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz Wednesday as he outlined recent progress, which includes a settlement with the former developer.    

The Smith Village project, on Flint's northside, has long promised affordable housing for low income individuals.

But there's been delay after delay after delay.

Most recent? Legal delays.

The former developer had the deeds, Kurtz says, and he wasn't going to hand them over until he got paid.

A settlement, for about $600,000, has been signed, and all related lawsuits have been dropped, according to Kurtz.

"It's gone wrong for 12 years," Kurtz says. "We need to move on. We talk about Smith Village every day. Several times."

Kurtz says 11 families have signed purchase agreements and those homes are the top priority for completion to allow for move in as soon as possible.

The city says only one interested buyer has dropped out because of the delays.

Kurtz says Smith Village's new developer has assumed all responsibility for marketing and selling future homes.

"In addition to that, we have one guy who is going to be supervising, for us, that whole project," Kurtz said.

Phase II of construction is scheduled to be completed, with the exception of landscaping, by the end of February.

That includes nine new homes, Kurtz says, plus five that need to be finished from Phase I.

There will be 39 homes total when Phase II is finished.

Phase II includes tearing up streets and putting in the necessary infrastructure.

About $900,000 was used from Flint's water and sewer fund.

The rest was grant eligible, Kurtz says.

Kurtz says the settlement agreement, with the former developer to pay himself and subcontractors, was almost all paid for by HUD.

About $60,000 came from Flint's general fund, Kurtz says.

Kurtz says the city should know, within weeks, when the first families will be moving in.

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