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Neighborhood program launched by state

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has launched a new program that aims to create a renaissance in neighborhoods.

The program is titled MI Neighborhood. It seeks communities that want to complement a Main Street or traditional commercial district revitalization project with a nearby neighborhood redevelopment.

"This program is based on the premise of the Main-Street-Four-Point Approach used by the Michigan Main Street Center," said Scott Woosley, executive director of MSHDA. "Just as we did with downtowns, we have developed an approach for successful neighborhoods. The result will be vibrant, thriving places to live."

Once accepted into the program through the application process, MI Neighborhood works with each targeted neighborhood association and local and statewide organizations to identify and address neighborhood needs. It connects the neighborhood with existing and emerging opportunities, which leverages resources that will help in the revitalization process.

Only neighborhood associations that are within one-quarter to one-half mile of a downtown or approved commercial district will be considered for entry into the program. For other eligibility criteria, visit michigan.gov/mshda.

MI Neighborhood provides no direct funding but offers technical assistance and guidance about available resources.

"Our goal is to help further enhance downtowns by promoting positive changes in image, marketability, physical condition and appearance of the participating neighborhoods," Woosley said.

MSHDA says some benefits of the program could be increased taxable values of homes within the neighborhood, a higher move-in rate, increased resident volunteer hours, higher average home prices and a greater number of neighborhood events. It also may decrease crime, foreclosure rates, vacant buildings, vacant lots, blighted properties and landlord/homeowner citations.

The MI Neighborhood application, along with a complete list of eligibility rules, is available on the MSHDA website, michigan.gov/mshda. Applications are due by 4 p.m. March 22. Selections will be announced by May 1.

For more details about the program, contact Lori LaPerriere at 517.241.4117 or email laperrierel1@michigan.gov.

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