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Detroit blight could score a $30 million HIT


Detroit neighborhoods just got a giant step closer to receiving some new life.

Pending a vote by City Council, the $30 million Detroit Neighborhood Repair Program, targeting four communities, could launch as soon as January, says Detroit Land Bank Authority spokesman Craig Fahle.

Three-hundred single-family homes in the Bagley, Shultz, Crary/St. Mary’s, and East English Village communities would benefit from the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) initiative, a collaboration with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, City of Detroit, Michigan Building Trades, Jenkins Construction, Building Detroit Futures, and Southwest Housing Solutions.

Mayor Mike Duggan praised the program at a media announcement Monday, saying the AFL-CIO plays an “important role” in city investment.

The Neighborhood Repair Program would not only address deteriorating homes, but would create jobs in the targeted subdivisions through union apprentice programs that provide construction training and careers for Detroit residents, especially women and people of color, say program officials.


Fahle says the program’s impact would be particularly noticeable in blocks were a few deteriorating structures stand among well-kept, occupied houses.

“It could do a lot to help get rid of blight in those areas,” Fahle adds.

The program also has potential to expand into Grandmont Rosedale and other parts of Detroit, officials say.

City Council discussed a resolution Tuesday to transfer Detroit Land Bank Authority property to Building Detroit Futures for use in the Neighborhood Repair Program. Southwest Solutions would manage the initiative, with construction costs funded through HIT. Low-income buyers of the renovated property would be pre-qualified, with profits going back to the trust.

A fixed-income investment company of the AFL-CIO, HIT manages $5 billion in assets for almost 400 investors, including union and public employee pension plans. The program has invested $8.5 billion to finance 10,000 housing units throughout the country, reportedly creating 75,000 union construction jobs.

City Council was expected to vote on its support of the program today.

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