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Flint's notorious Atherton East public housing will be torn down and replaced

City of Flint

Flint has been awarded $30 million in federal money to tear down the aging, crumbling public housing complex known as Atherton East, and build a new, mixed-income development, in a different location.

Congressman Dan Kildee says Atherton East was part of a bad approach to public housing during the 1960s.

"Concentrating poverty in housing projects that are in the least desirable parts of a community, the cheapest land," he says. "Well, there's a reason the land (for Atherton East) was so cheap. It was isolated from the rest of the community and in this case was in a floodplain."

Residents had to deal with chronic flooding from the very beginning, and they were cut off from city services and shopping by I-475.

Current residents will be relocated to a number of different types of housing in South Flint closer to amenities. The relocations will be supported with $13 million in funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The $30 million federal grant will also support job, literacy, and health care supports for current and future residents of Atherton East.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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