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Detroit has new grants for neighborhood beautification projects

Neighborhood Beautification Project announcement
Briana Rice
Michigan Radio
Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield announces the new Neighborhood Beautification Project near Islandview’s Community Garden and Fridge.

A new Neighborhood Beautification Program in Detroit has hopes of putting money into the hands of residents.

The money will fund projects repurposing land owned by block clubs, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and neighborhood associations.

City Council President Mary Sheffield announced the program Wednesday morning.

The initial funding for the program is more than $2 million. That includes $1.25 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $1 million from the Neighborhood Improvement Fund, which is made of taxes on employees of the Detroit Pistons.

The new program will fund up to 50 projects a year.

Organizations can ask for between $500 and $15,000 for removing blight and providing recreational and educational opportunities for neighborhoods.

All neighborhoods are eligible for the grants except for Downtown and Midtown.

The program funding can be used for clean-up activities, community gardens, and public space activities.

Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield said the funding for the program will last until 2048.

"One of the things residents always tell me is, 'I have great ideas, I want to be a part of rebuilding my community, revitalizing my block but I don’t have the funds.' So this program, the Neighborhood Beautification Program, will alleviate the stress our residents have experienced trying to fund these efforts," Sheffield said.

The program will also assist organizations purchasing or leasing vacant lots from Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Applications for the grant will open this summer.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.
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