Flint, MI– The Genesee County Land Bank is partnering with 69 community-based organizations to clean thousands of vacant Flint properties over the next few months as part of the 2021 Clean & Green Program.
Community groups like block-clubs, schools, churches, neighborhood associations, and nonprofits, will clean and green nearly 3,700 vacant properties through September.
Each group will receive a stipend of $20 per lot, for maintaining at least 25 lots every three weeks. Residents are encouraged to connect with and support their local Clean & Green groups.
“I believe that…government will not solve every problem, but things like what you guys are doing today is a great step in the right direction,” said Land Bank Director Michael Freeman during the digital program kick off on April 28. “And somehow we’re going to get there and we’re not going to stop working until we start getting the blight out of this community and making healthy neighborhoods again.”
The Clean & Green program has been part of the Land Bank since its creation in 2004. Since then, according to the Land Bank website, Clean & Green Groups have completed more than 215,000 vacant property mowings, and boarded up nearly 600 vacant houses.
The Land Bank has invested more than $4.7 million in the community organizations that have participated in the program over the last several years. This year the program is supported by grant funding from the Ruth Mott Foundation, the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center and MSHDA through the Hardest Hit Fund.
Community Relations Manager Raynetta Speed said the Land Bank received more applications than they ever have for the program this year.
Last year, the program had 58 community organizations participating. Speed said all of the former organizations, some of whom have participated in the program since its creation, came back this year to participate, along with some new groups.
Applications to be part of this year’s Clean & Green program have closed, but there are other ways for groups and individual residents to access lots held by the Land Bank.
Applications to Adopt-A-Lot, Lease-A-Lot, or purchase a side lot are available on their website. These are three ways residents can help clean and maintain vacant lots in the City.
Last year, Freeman said volunteers leased and maintained 918 vacant lots. Some of these programs were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are accepting applications again.
The Land Bank is also hiring maintenance crews for the summer to do mowing and trash abatement work. During a board meeting for the Land Bank on May 12, Susan Stravato said only about 20 of 45 positions have been filled.
Employees on these crews would work 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, at $11-13 an hour. It is a seasonal position, and would end October 31, 2021.
You can view the job posting here.