Muskegon Heights Applying For, Hoping To Receive $900,000 Grant To Fight Foreclosure Blight

Andrew Trzaska | January 11, 2011

Muskegon Heights will submit a grant application to Muskegon County for $900,000 in federal grant money to help fight blight that resulted from recent foreclosures and vacancies.

Muskegon County recently received $1 million to distribute within its borders from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.  It is a grant fund designed “for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment”, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website

The only hitch of the County’s grant application process is that only one city, non-profit or other party applying for the grant will receive it; it will not be subdivided between multiple agencies.

The city will not have to wait too long to find out if they have received the grant.  The application is due by this Friday and the County will review submissions soon after.

City Manager Natasha Henderson recommended the council approve the resolution to apply for nearly the whole portion of grant money.  The resolution passed unanimously, with two council members not voting because of absence.

At the service meeting before the Monday’s full council meeting, Henderson and Reatha Anderson, Muskegon Heights’ director of planning and development, both noted that the City of Muskegon Heights has a fair chance at getting the grant.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development calculates a special index based on data from the US Census. Four specific areas, or tracts, of Muskegon Heights qualified for this NSP grant, which is the most for any municipality in the county.

Several rounds of funding through this grant program have been extended to communities around the country, with this being the third round of funding.  Muskegon Heights Muskegon received a first-round NSP grant, as did the city of Muskegon, who used some of their funds to rehabilitate and sell back houses to new owners.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst