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Charting a new course for a Flint neighborhood

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint is starting an effort to help people in a low-income housing complex connect with the rest of the city.

The Atherton East apartment complex is literally on the other side of the tracks.  It’s closer to strip joints than grocery stores. 

Flint officials say the neighborhood surrounding Atherton East has a poverty rate of 80%.  

Megan Hunter is Flint’s city planner.  She says a half-million dollar federal grant will help develop a plan to revitalize the neighborhood around the complex.

“We are going to reconnect them to the community and say to them they are important to us,” says Hunter.

Flint officials say the planning process will take a couple years.

“Because this is a planning grant, we don’t know yet where we’re heading,” Geraldine Redmond with the Flint Housing Commission, “But we know it’s going to be exciting.”

The changes could eventually include replacing the housing complex, but that would be many years down the road. 

Flint is one of six communities nationwide receiving Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

City officials hope over the next two years to develop a plan in conjunction with neighborhood residents, business owners and others in the community. They hope that will enable to the city to receive additional federal grant funding to implement the plan.  

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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