Saginaw to spend millions in ARPA funding for housing and blight elimination

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 12:14 AM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - Resident is Saginaw could soon see their wishes answered when it comes to affordable housing and blight eliminations. City Council members this week approved using $5-million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to create a revolving loan fund to address blighted homes and commercial buildings.

“The idea would be to rehabilitate some homes and to be able to get them back in an affordable rate back into the citizens hands,” says Saginaw City Councilmember Annie Boensch.

They also approved using $3.8-million to help with improvements to owner occupied homes. A concern one resident brought up during public comments at a special meeting held on Monday, September 26th. Saying that residents have been covering up their windows with plastic and using their ovens to heat up their homes.

Boensch says, “they will be able to seek various types of repairs, including roofs, furnaces and windows some of the bigger ticket items that aren’t necessarily always covered by some of the other grants.”

Another concern that the council is addressing is dumping in neighborhoods. An issue Boensch says is coming from people who do not actually live in the area. The city will spend $800,000 to deal with environmental investigation, clean up, and blight remediation.

“This is gonna make it a lot easier for our staff to respond to constituent complaints about dumping. Make sure that they’re following up and making sure that we’re ticketing and prosecuting people when we catch them,” says Boensch.

In total the City Council approved $11.6-million of the $52-million ARPA money the city is receiving for these motions.

Saginaw City Council will host another special meeting to discuss ARPA funding for public health. The date and time for that meeting has not been finalized.