Mott Foundation grants nearly $450,000 to demolish blighted structures and strengthen Flint neighborhoods

Flint, Michigan — The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has granted $448,029 to the Genesee County Land Bank to help reduce blight in the city of Flint in response to how residents voted to strengthen neighborhoods.

Mott announced in August that it would fully fund seven neighborhood projects and partially fund an eighth project — for a total of $1 million in related support — based on how Flint residents voted between July 28 and Aug. 11.

The grant to the Genesee County Land Bank will fund three of the top eight projects residents said they wanted to see happen. The efforts the grant will support and the dollar amounts residents voted to allocate to each are as follows:

  • Demolish vacant houses that are beyond repair | $150,553
  • Take down properties that have been burned | $139,378
  • Demolish homes listed on the City’s Property Portal that are designated as needing demolition but currently no funds are available | $158,098

“During our community conversations last fall, residents expressed growing frustration over blight. They then showed with their votes just how important the issue is to them,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “We’re eager to continue working with the community to fight blight and strengthen the city’s neighborhoods.”

The grant to the Land Bank is the second awarded through community-led grantmaking that’s part of the Foundation’s Focus on Flint initiative. On Nov. 6, Mott announced it had granted $121,406 to the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity to help provide home maintenance repair services for seniors in Flint.

The grant to the Land Bank will fund the demolition of about 30 structures, according to Executive Director Michael Freeman. The organization is asking for the community’s input to prioritize properties for demolition.

“It’s important to hear from Flint residents before deciding which blighted properties to address first,” said Freeman. “Blight throughout our neighborhoods is a big issue to tackle, but we are eager to work alongside residents toward a common goal of strengthening neighborhoods.”

Residents have until Nov. 30 to provide input through a survey available via thelandbank.org. The Land Bank will share updates on its website and Facebook page.

A complete list of the eight projects that will be supported by the $1 million in Mott funding and further information about the Focus on Flint initiative are available at focusonflint.org/updates.

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the United States and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Education, Environment and Flint Area. In addition to Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg and London. With year-end assets of approximately $3.1 billion in 2019, the Foundation made 364 grants totaling more than $133 million. For more information, visit www.mott.org.

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