Flint, MI —  Communities First, Inc. could receive over $1 million from the federal government to create affordable housing and a mixed-use space for the community under a federal spending bill.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee announced a key congressional subcommittee advanced a spending bill that includes seven of his Community Project Funding requests that benefit Genesee, Saginaw, Bay, and Midland County residents.

The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development advanced its Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) spending bill. This bill includes $7.9 million in local initiatives to help eliminate blight, build affordable housing and increase access to public parks for mid-Michigan residents.

“I am pleased to see seven of my Community Project Funding initiatives for Genesee, Saginaw, Bay and Midland County advance in the House of Representatives,” said Congressman Kildee in a July 14, 2023 press release. “These important projects will help eliminate blight, lower housing costs and improve the lives of mid-Michigan residents. I will continue working in Congress to bring federal resources back to mid-Michigan.”

According to the press release, each member of Congress can submit up to 15 projects for funding consideration through the committee each funding cycle, and seven of Kildee’s initiatives were advanced this time.

Should those advanced asks be approved, Communities First will receive $1,050,000 toward renovating downtown Flint’s Marian Hall building into affordable housing and restoring another downtown property, the Masonic Temple, into a mixed-use space.

“Communities First, Inc. would like to thank Congressman Dan Kildee for his commitment to the City of Flint and Genesee County,” said Glenn Wilson, President and CEO of Communities First, Inc., in a press release. “Through opportunities like this one, Communities First is excited to continue to build healthy, vibrant communities.”

Though the funding has not been approved yet, Kildee’s office said it could be by the end of 2023.

The funding proposals still need to go through the Appropriations Full Committee before being presented to the House of Representatives and the Senate for final approval, according to a statement from Kildee’s office.

The other proposed funding projects include:

  • $3,500,000 for the Saginaw County Land Bank Authority which would be used to eliminate key public safety threats by demolishing vacant properties and expanding affordable housing opportunities in Saginaw County.
  • $1,000,000 for Bay County which would be used for completing renovations at the Bay County Community Center as well as removal of blighted vacant buildings in the community that contribute to crime.
  • $850,000 for the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission which would be used for the improvement of parks and recreational spaces across Genesee County. Specifically, the upgrades to these parks will ensure these spaces are accessible for people with physical and developmental disabilities.
  • $500,000 for the Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority (DDA) which would be used for constructing a roundabout and reconverting a roadway that would improve the safety of the road.
  • $500,000 for Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) which would be used to connect two current fixed-route transit authorities, Bay County (Bay Metro) and City of Saginaw (STARS), at SVSU.
  • $500,000 for Bay, Genesee, Saginaw and Midland Habitats for Humanity which would be used to make critical home repairs, including to energy systems and roofs, for veterans and low-income households to address health and safety issues.

Sophia is Flint Beat's City Hall reporter. She joins the team after previously reporting for the Livingston Daily and the Lansing State Journal, along with some freelance work with The New York Times....