The state plans to use most of $75 million federal grant to help people struggling to pay their mortgages to tear down abandoned buildings in Detroit and Flint. Kevin Elsenheimer is the director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. He says the plan makes sense for homeowners in those cities.
“Blighted structures not only bring down property values, but tend to increase crime and centralize crime. When you remove those blighted structures, you actually crime go down and property values go up, and you see people actually getting out into their neighborhoods.”
Elsenheimer says Detroit and Flint have the most abandoned homes and buildings. He says other communities should benefit from another federal grant that state’s applied for. He says 25 percent of the money has also been set aside to help people who are behind on their home loans.