CUPPAD helps City of Manistique secure over $200,000 for Blight Elimination

June 30, 2015

Manistique gets $201,550 grant to create more opportunity for neighborhood improvement through blight elimination

MSHDA allocates $3.8 million to help 19 communities tackle blighted properties around the state

MANISTIQUE, MICH. – Manistique residents will soon see tangible improvements in their neighborhoods with help from the Blight Elimination Program.

Manistique depends on its scenic beauty as part of its competitive advantage, according to the grant application. There are 16 key properties that are detriments to the city’s public safety, economic development and tourism potential, and property stabilization.

The city plans to leverage the grant money with $20,000 locally to facilitate demolition. The targeted properties are located along Manistique’s signature commercial corridor, US-2, and in established neighborhoods within the city.

Stabilizing property values in residential neighborhoods and removing barriers to private investment near and along US-2 are anticipated outcomes of the activities.

The application says, “With the recent closure of the Future Mazk Paper Mill in March 2015 eliminating 150 jobs and slashing over $200,000 from the city’s tax base, there couldn’t be a better time than now to help improve the city’s landscape in strategic locations where economic development potential exists.”

This grant is funded through a portion of Michigan’s Homeownership Protection Fund that was appropriated to MSHDA in 2012 and repurposed last year to continue to address blight elimination needs across the state.

County Land Banks and local units of government statewide were invited to apply for up to $250,000 in assistance during this round of funding. Forty-nine applications were submitted, requesting more than $8 million to fight blight. Three different groups scored each application and the combined scores were used to select the 19 grant recipients.

Proposals were evaluated by representatives from MSHDA and the Michigan Land Bank Authority based on their anticipated impact on public safety, stabilizing property values and enhancing economic development. Public and private investment in the project and alignment with a local place plan or other placemaking effort were also factors.

Eligible projects were required to involve demolition of blighted buildings in business districts, downtowns, or commercial corridors; full or partial demolition of commercial buildings that are part of a development project with funding commitments and/or involve demolition of blighted residential structures.

The following cities received grant funds through the Blight Elimination Program:

  • Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • City of Mt. Pleasant; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • Marquette County Land Bank; preliminary award amount $223,250.00
  • City of Battle Creek; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • City of Harbor Beach; preliminary award amount $150,000
  • Kent County Land Bank Authority; preliminary award amount $50,000
  • City of Springfield ; preliminary award amount $135,000
  • City of Dowagiac; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • City of Monroe; preliminary award amount $200,000
  • City of Muskegon; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • City of Bay City; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • Berrien County Community Development; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • City of Manistique; preliminary award amount $201,550
  • City of Kalamazoo; preliminary award amount $217,350
  • City of Alpena; preliminary award amount $245,000
  • City of Ypsilanti; preliminary award amount $250,000
  • Clare County Community Development; preliminary award amount $157,500
  • City of Coldwater; preliminary award amount $65,250
  • Village of Marcellus; preliminary award amount $155,100

The Blight Elimination Program has funded approximately $25 million in demolition projects dating back to 2012 and has applied the newly repurposed $3.8 million to continue efforts to demolish vacant and abandoned structures in Michigan.

“By investing in blight elimination we are investing in the future of Michigan,” said Kevin Elsenheimer, executive director at MSHDA. “Eliminating blighted properties promotes public safety, stabilizes property values and enhances economic development opportunities.”

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.* 

*MSHDA’s loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit 

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