FLINT, Michigan -- The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation announced another grant this week to help fight blight.
A $76,680 grant to the Genesee County Land Bank will strengthen Flint’s blight elimination plan and help coordinate blight elimination efforts through the city. The Land Bank is partnering with the Flint Police Foundation on the initiative. Work done by the organizations will include evaluations of the conditions of vacant lots in the city and identifying hot spots for dumping. Residents can report blight through the Flint Property Portal.
“It’s important to create a plan to raise awareness of the immediate challenges in Flint,” said Natalie Pruett, executive director of the Flint Police Foundation, in a statement. “This will put us in the best position to secure more resources to tackle blight throughout the city, as well as let residents and community advocates know what they can do to help.”
Michael Freeman, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank, noted in a news release that the Flint Police Foundation, which was founded in 2014, has data and resources that make the organization a good partner for the Land Bank.
“The Police Foundation possesses the necessary data, resources and experience needed to show a full picture of blight throughout Flint,” Freeman said in a news release. “We are excited to use the results to guide our work in blight elimination. This is a great opportunity to highlight the successes over the past five years, as well as show that there is still a great need in the city.”
The grant is the latest from the Mott Foundation’s Focus on Flint initiative, which launched in 2019. After community dialogues and a survey or residents about priorities or needs, blight was identified as a major issue. The Mott Foundation announced in 2019 that it would put $1 million toward ideas voted on by the community. The Mott Foundation is providing grants to fund the top seven initiatives and part of an eighth prioritized by residents in that process. A list of what has been funded and progress that has been made is available on the Focus on Flint website.
“We’re glad the Land Bank and the Flint Police Foundation are eager to do the work residents wanted to see happen with the dollars they allocated,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation, in a news release. “And we hope residents will be able to see and feel the positive change they sparked.”