Zorn, Bellino applaud grant to help fight blight in Monroe

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn and Rep. Joe Bellino announced on Thursday that the city of Monroe has been awarded funding to help eliminate blight in the community.

“Helping clean up blighted and abandoned properties can have a tremendous impact in revitalizing our communities and improving the entire region,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This grant will help return property in Monroe to productive use, improve safety and help encourage new economic growth and investment in the area.”

The city of Monroe will receive $174,300 from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to assist in the demolition of abandoned properties within the planned footprint of the River Raisin Heritage Corridor expansion project.

Monroe is one of 19 cities across Michigan that will receive funding for residential and commercial blight elimination projects using more than $3.6 million in grants from MSHDA.

“As a business owner, I can attest to the negative impact blighted buildings can have on a local economy,” said Bellino, R-Monroe. “The same goes for residential areas where blight is prevalent. Property values can plummet if the nearby properties are not cleaned up. This grant will help our community tremendously.”

County land banks and local units of government were invited to submit eligible projects for a MSHDA-funded blight elimination grant opportunity. Projects needed to improve public safety, stabilize or increase property values, and/or support efforts that were currently in progress.

All structures targeted for demolition are vacant, publicly owned and meet specific blight criteria including being deemed a public nuisance.

The maximum award amount was set at $25,000 per residential structure or $100,000 per commercial structure. Residential proposals had to prove that the building’s last use was as a multi- or single-family residential structure and commercial projects had to be part of development plans with existing funding commitments and a local match of at least 10 percent.