A Flint city commissioner has an idea that would not only help emergency personnel within the city, it would also allow those responders to buy homes in the city at discounted rates.
The program is an idea from Genesee County Commissioner Omar Sims, and it cuts the list price on tax-foreclosed homes in the city by more than 30 percent for firefighters, police officers and soldiers.
The program would give those emergency responders a chance to live in the same community in which they work.
"They are trying to build stability," Sims said. "This would mean somebody would be there and be paying local taxes." It is also possible that a community service member living in those areas would make the neighborhood appear more safe.
Land Bank Executive Director Doug Weiland says that details have to be worked out that the new program wouldn't jeopardize grant funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding. NSP is a federally-funded grant program aimed at redeveloping communities like Flint that have been blighted by abandoned and foreclosed homes.
Home buyers would have to agree to live in the home for a minimum of five years.
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