Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded a key congressional committee for advancing a spending bill that includes four additional Community Project Funding requests that benefit Genesee, Saginaw and Bay County residents. This follows an additional six Kildee projects that were also voted on earlier this week.
The House Appropriations Committee today advanced the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill, which includes $4.42 million in funding for Kildee-sponsored initiatives throughout mid-Michigan. These projects would help build a local grocery store in the north end of Flint, help support affordable housing for low-income families and veterans and clean-up blighted properties in the community. The legislation now moves to the full U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.
"These economic development projects will make a real difference to strengthen neighborhoods and reinvest in our community," Congressman Kildee said. "From ensuring that Flint residents have a grocery store with healthy foods, to helping veterans with affordable housing, these federally-funded projects will help families across Genesee, Saginaw and Bay Counties."
This year, the Appropriations Committee created a new opportunity for Members of Congress to direct federal resources for certain projects with demonstrated community support. Each Member of Congress could submit up to 10 projects for consideration. Four of Congressman Kildee's community project funding projects were advanced today, including:
$1,750,000 to the Genesee County Land Bank Authority and the Bay County Land Bank Authority for demolition of 65 of the most hazardous vacant properties, based upon community input, and three vacant and abandoned former school buildings.
$520,000 to the Saginaw-Shiawassee Habitat for Humanity and the Bay County Habitat for Humanity to undertake critical home repairs, including energy systems and roofs, for veterans and low-income households.
$1,500,000 to the Genesee County Habitat for Humanity for the Flint Home Improvement Fund to help Flint residents make home upgrades, including furnace and hot water heater replacement, roof replacement or repairs, kitchen and bath upgrades, deck and porch replacement, new siding and other home upgrades to address health and safety issues.
$650,000 to North Flint Reinvestment Corporation to help build a consumer-owned cooperative that will operate as a full-service grocery store to improve access to affordable, fresh and locally sourced produce for Flint residents.
"Demolishing vacant and deteriorated houses prioritized following resident input will make neighborhoods safer and healthier for residents and create new opportunities for investment. We appreciate that Congressman Kildee has continued to direct needed resources to Flint to address this resident priority," said Michael Freeman, Executive Director of the Genesee County Land Bank Authority.
"This funding will be a monumental step towards creating a system where all homeowners in the city of Flint can access resources to improve their homes," said Thomas Hutchison, Executive Director of Genesee County Habitat for Humanity. "By helping residents access capital with flexible and affordable repayment options, the Flint Home Improvement Fund will create strong neighborhoods where residents can maintain their homes while avoiding burdensome debt."
"This is an incredible opportunity that's been opened for us with support at the federal level. It aligns with and supports funding we have received from the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. For federal resources to be made available for healthy food in the black community is so important because access to healthy food, creation of jobs and food sovereignty are vital to the long-term health of the black community," said Pastor Reginald Flynn, Project Manager of the North Flint Reinvestment Corporation. "This funding is enthusiastically welcomed as we have sought support at all levels for this project since the Flint water crisis. We are excited for Congressman Kildee's support, consideration and selection of this project. As a U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized food desert, this funding will provide healthy and fresh food for the North end of Flint."
Under the Community Project Funding initiative, only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding.