Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Headlines | No Comments

The story of Flint, as made infamous in Michael Moore’s Roger & Me, has been that of decline and hopelessness.  However, the Imagine Flint Master Plan is beginning to change all this by providing the community with a single, united vision and the guidance needed to help transform Flint into a vibrant sustainable community.  People and organizations are pledging their help. Institutions are investing. Businesses are expanding.

Though only adopted in October 2013, the Master Plan has yielded tangible results. The housing conditions data produced through the process has helped the City secure more $24 million in grants for demolition, neighborhood planning, and redevelopment efforts.

Choice Neighborhoods Grant

In January 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced seven new Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant awards, including $500,000 to the City of Flint. One of 51 applicants, the City of Flint will use the grant, in partnership with the Flint Housing Commission, to create a plan to address the historic challenges of poverty and crime impacting the Atherton East public housing development and surrounding areas.

The Imagine Flint Master Plan prioritizes social equity and specifically calls for work to improve opportunity for residents of Atherton East. As Mayor Dayne Walling:

“This new grant will enable us to work with residents, partners and the Flint Housing Commission to develop a neighborhood transformation plan. This is another step forward in implementing the Imagine Flint Master Plan and demonstrating that we can create neighborhoods that are safe, vibrant, and inclusive in every part of the city.

“Decades ago Flint made the mistake of putting its public housing in some of the most isolated parts of the city, and now we’re seeing the results – high crime, concentrated poverty, and limited economic opportunity. This grant gives us the opportunity to work hand in hand with the Flint Housing Commission and residents to break the cycle and reconnect families to opportunity.”

− Flint Mayor Dayne Walling

Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)

In January 2014, the City was also selected for participation in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative largely because of the Master Plan. Touting Flint’s Master Plan as a key reason for the City’s selection, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said, “One of the things that really impressed us about Flint is that there is a brand new master plan and provides a clear road map strategy for the city and we really felt we could be helpful on.”

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