Blight fight get more federal financial support - WNEM TV 5

Blight fight get more federal financial support

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Taking care of Flint's blight is a monumental task

"We need to get the blight out of here," said resident Fred McKinzie.

Fred McKinzie says the abandoned and dilapidated homes are not only an eyesore, but they fuel problems in his neighborhood.

"Get the kids out of these abandoned houses, we've got a lot of crime going on, and we need all that the government can give," McKinzie said.

And that help is continuing to pour in. On Wednesday, the federal government set aside $11.4 million to go toward tearing down blighted homes.

Deb Cherry is the head of the Genesee County Land Bank. She said the news comes just weeks after the city wrapped up its biggest blight elimination program ever.

"About 1,000 homes that we think we'll be able to do with that," Cherry said.

Federal dollars have helped the city demolish nearly 1,800 homes since 2013.

"We've gone through the whole city, really, and done an analysis of all the homes, so we'll be up and ready to go," Cherry said.

Cherry said the new funding will go toward tearing down homes in all areas of the city, with a focus on areas where the work has already started.

"It helps with crime, helps to stabilize neighborhoods," Cherry said.

She said there's still quite a battle ahead in the fight against Flint blight.

McKinzie said it's worth it.

"Getting these houses together, and getting them torn down, that way it gives like me and myself, doing community gardens, places where the kids can play instead of in the streets, you know," McKinzie said.

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