Blight fight continuing as grant program wraps up - WNEM TV 5

Blight fight continuing as grant program wraps up

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Newall Street in near Iroquois Avenue has become a dumping ground, and residents are tired of it.

In 2013, close to $23 million from the Hardest Hit Fund were given to the city, to clean up blighted areas in Flint.

That money was used to tear down nearly 1,800 dilapidated homes and structures.

Larry Cobb said he's seen the difference.

"Really going well," Cobb said.

The program, which is the largest blight-elimination plan in the city's history, is wrapped up.

But there's still a lot of work ahead.

"They're overwhelmed, it's going to be an ongoing problem," Cobb said.

City leaders expect it to cost close to 108-million dollars over the next five years to remove blight across Flint. But 5 percent of the cost, actually goes to removing trash on properties.

Other costs include keeping vacant lots mowed. To demolish all the homes that need to go will cost the city more than $71 million over the next five years.

"Demolition process is going to make a difference, but the overall maintenance for the community, it's going to require an economic base," Cobb said.

City leaders hope to dip into money collected from insurance agencies to tear down burned down homes, but they've also applied for a $16.6 million grant.

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