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Crowdsourcing turns blighted Flint home into rubble

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A home was torn down in Flint this morning.

But the home on Parkbelt Drive is different from the hundreds of other blighted homes that have been demolished in Flint in recent years.

An online crowdsourced fundraising campaign paid to tear down the fire-gutted home on Flint’s north side.   The campaign collected more than $10,000. 

Paulette Mayfield owns the house next door. She contributed to the online campaign.

“People that didn’t even live in this area donated … this is just so wonderful,” Mayfield said as she took pictures of the demolition crew tearing through the home’s roof.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Neighbor Paulette Mayfield took pictures of the home before the crews turned it into rubble

“We are so happy to see this go. If I had wine, I’d give it to you,” Mayfield said with a laugh. 

Bryant Nolden is a Flint City Councilman, soon to be a Genesee County Commissioner, and maybe most important, a member of the Genesee County Land Bank Board of Directors. 

“This is one of the most stable neighborhoods on the north side of Flint,” Nolden says. “And by removing this eyesore it will be beneficial to the community.”

Nolden is optimistic that crowdsourcing might be a way for Flint to raise more money to tear down more blighted homes.

“We have people around the country that know about the blight here in Flint, and some of them are actually from this area,” Nolden says. 

The campaign to tear down this particular home was spearheaded by an author and Flint native who's written about Flint’s problems.

The federal government has provided more than $20 million to tear down dilapidated homes in Flint. But much more money will be needed.     

It’s estimated that there are around 9,000 blighted, vacant homes in Flint. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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