Flint neighborhoods get face lift thanks to Genesee County Land - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint neighborhoods get face lift thanks to Genesee County Land Bank

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FLINT (WJRT) - (08/26/14) - Neighborhoods in Flint are getting a face lift thanks to a project by the Genesee County Land Bank.

Last October, we reported they received more than $20 million in grant money for abandoned home demolitions. It is all part of the master plan to revive Flint.

"I can see us as little kids playing on the porch and our moms cooking food for all of us," said Gail Brydson, Flint resident.

Brydson watched as the house she spent time in as a child was brought down. It's not easy letting go, as she sees house after house in her neighborhood get torn down.

"It makes you feel empty, it makes you feel lost, but yet it makes you remember your history and the good times we had growing up through the neighborhood," she said.

She recognizes it's part of revival process needed to bring the city back.

"I think the city is finally stepping up. We trying to clean Flint up and bring our neighborhoods back, you know, it's great," Brydson said.

Hundreds of blighted home have been demolished as part of a $20 million project administered by the Genesee County Land Bank.

"Over 600 are down now and more that 1,000 in the process. So I think we are going to hit ours around 1,700 houses," said Douglas Weiland, Genesee County Land Bank executive director.

These cleaned up lots bring plenty of positives, including a boost in curb appeal.

"Overall, it helps prevent crime, it helps prevent arsons, so there is a lot of benefits, including making neighborhood look good and add to prop value," Weiland said.

So many, like Brydson, don't want to say goodbye to the past - but would welcome a promising future.

"I would like to see us come back, I really would. I would like to see Flint come back," Brydson said.

The Hardest Hit Fund grant money expires next Spring.  The Land Bank tells us they expect to meet their projected goals by then.

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