Genesee County receives almost $400,000 to fight blight - WNEM TV 5

Genesee County receives almost $400,000 to fight blight

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Genesee County is getting $396,000 to help tear down vacant homes.

The money is earmarked for the demolition of 34 homes.

"You go to like Fenton and Burton and Grand Blanc, they're beautiful, they're very beautiful. When you come here it's like, wow, what are we doing to better ourselves, you know. I don't see it," Jerri Buford said.

Buford said she was feeling the Monday blues. That is until she heard more money is coming to the Genesee County Land Bank for more blight elimination.

"I'm happy to hear we have some more money, whoooo," Buford said.

This is an additional almost $400,000 grant from the state for Genesee County on top of the $24 million grant the land bank has already received for blight elimination. The cash will be used to knock down 34 more blighted and abandoned single-family homes. But the land bank said there's something most people don't understand about blight.

"Of all the blighted houses that need to be demolished about three-quarters of them are privately owned. They're not owned by the land bank and it's going to take a long time to get our arms around those properties. It's about 4,000 of them out there," said Douglas Weiland, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank.

The land bank said with the shear numbers of blighted properties needing demolition residents just need to be patient. 

Four other Michigan counties also received funding. The Genesee County Land Bank said they'll start on the demolitions this fall.

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