Michigan has 29 land bank authorities – more than any state. The Detroit News reports that Michigan is going to try to use these land banks to spur redevelopment and garner nearly $300 million:
With the federal money expected to come in January, cities such as Detroit and counties such as Oakland are starting land bank agencies for the first time. The state filed for the Housing and Urban Development funding through a coalition that includes 12 city governments and eight counties. It’s a national competition, and the overall fund totals $1.9 billion. Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Pontiac, Saginaw and Wyandotte also would be targeted for revitalization.
The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority would provide land bank services in Detroit; Oakland County, including Pontiac; and Kent County, including Grand Rapids, until local land banks are ready to take over.
Under the plan, the Michigan land banks aim to buy and redevelop more than 6,000 foreclosed, abandoned and vacant properties. The land banks also envision razing 2,500 structures and rehabilitating or building 1,500 homes.
There’s also an effort to encourage urban gardeners to develop empty city lots and allow homeowners to buy inexpensive vacant lots next to their property. “We expect (Detroit’s land bank) to be the most aggressive developer in the city,” said Douglas Diggs, interim director of the city’s land bank office.
Good news for Michigan cities! Check out the Abandoned slideshow from the Absolute Michigan pool for some likely suspects for the money!