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Allan

Flint to Receive $6.4 Million in Block Grants

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The federal government will give the city of Flint $6.4 million to fund programs that would demolish vacant homes, clean up neighborhoods, install new sidewalks, and build new homes.

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It's nice to see CDBG money going to more cities that need it, instead of cities like Grand Rapids who could afford to do things with their own money. I wish Lansing could get more money from CDBG, we could really use it.

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I don't think there are many cities out there that couldn't use grants at the moment for one thing or the other. Could someone give us a description of Smith Village, Flint Park Lake and Third Avenue area, and why these areas over other's? I'm not that familiar with Flint, but have heard of Smith Village.

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I'm not familiar with Flint either, but I do know of Saginaw St. somewhat, and they really need to do somthing with it. Last time I went down it almost every building was either a liquor store, bar or abandoned, mostly abandoned though. There were bars on everywindow and at least one building laying on the ground, do any of you from Flint have pics of this area?

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Read through some of the Flint threads in this forum. You'll see that quite a bit is happening. It sounds like you're talking about Saginaw Street north of downtown which is rather rundown but seeing new development.

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It sounds like you're talking about Saginaw Street north of downtown which is rather rundown but seeing new development.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, I don't know much about Saginaw going through downtown itself, someone fill me in, it's been over a year since I've been to Flint.

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Here, let me help you out. There is a stickied thread at the top of this forum that keeps track of projects going on in downtown Flint. Go take a look at it. It's right up there with the Lansing one. It would take far too long to layout all that's going on in downtown Flint in one post.

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Smith Village is across Saginaw St. from the University Park Estates. I think they are now calling it University Village or something similar for the upcoming project. It's a very run-down and abandoned area with plenty of vacant lots. Although, if you look hard enough, surprisingly you can find a house here and there that is in pretty good condition.

Third Ave. goes through Carriage Town and connects the U of M with Kettering. It's pretty run-down, too, even though besides the universities it also has the Children's Museum, Atwood Stadium, and a credit union among other things on it. It's not as bad in Carriage Town, but go further west and there's a lot of work to be done. Too many drunks, addicts, and prostitutes roam the surrounding area. It's amazing how abrupty it changes once you cross Chevrolet Ave. to get on Kettering's campus and by the Mott Park neighborhood.

I don't know much about Flint Park Lake. I've never been there, myself. I heard it used to be the place to be - the park was like a small amusement park. I know Flint Park St. looks pretty bad, especially the closer you get to the lake, but I've never really been through the area. The neighborhood just south of that area actually looks decent (yes, in north Flint :P). I honestly don't think it extends to the Flint Park area, though.

hood:

I'm pretty sure you're talking about N. Saginaw. They'll have to fix the neighborhoods before you see the main street improve much. It's a shame, though. Saginaw St. is probably the most known street in the city proper, but it doesn't represent the positive aspects of the city except in a handful of locations. I'm sure when people return to the city to see how it looks now, thats one of the first streets they gage their opinions from.

BTW, I should call and complain about that collapsed building just north of downtown. I'd be upset if I bought a house at University Park Estates and had to see that out my back window. Besides, if you're trying to revive a neighborhood, shouldn't one of the first things you do is get rid of a big hazard and eyesore such as that?

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Is the collasped building Hood is speaking of on the left (west) side of Saginaw as you drive north from downtown? I think I know what he's talking about.

One thing I have noticed about Flint and it's decline is that you can see how dense it once really was (denser than Grand Rapids, in fact, and probably the densest city outside of metro Detroit in Michigan). The street grid is still in tact, and though it declined, it didn't lose nearly the amount of housing Detroit has.

I also really like how most of Flint still has it's dense tree cover, which is something else Detroit loss more of. It's still really green if even mostly overgrown in many places.

And actually, from just driving around the southside of the city still looks very much in tact if even a little rundown, but what midwest city doesn't these days?

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Is the collasped building Hood is speaking of on the left (west) side of Saginaw as you drive north from downtown?  I think I know what he's talking about.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's the one I was talking about. I'm thinking that's the one he's talking about, too, because I really can't think of any others and that's a very noticable building.

The west side isn't half bad, either, but it just doesn't get any attention for some reason. There are pockets of neighborhoods that could really use some renovation, but for the most part the homes look old at worst.

And you're right about the housing. Smith Village is about as close as you get in Flint for Detroit-scale lot vacancy. I think some of it has to do with the fact that there were so many apartment buildings that looked like single family homes. Most were eventually converted into single family homes when the population dropped and people wanted more space.

There are still quite a few vacant housing units in the city, though (2nd most in Michigan).

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The opposite happened with Lansing. Most of the old, large houses were recently converted to low-end rental units.

Here are some statistical comparisons for four Michigan cities (Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, and Detroit) in terms of housing:

Housing Vacancy -

Grand Rapids: 6.1%

Lansing: 6.9%

Flint: 12.1%

Detroit: 10.3%

Owner Occupied vs. Rental -

Grand Rapids: 59.7% vs. 40.3%

Lansing: 57.5% vs. 42.5%

Flint: 58.8% vs. 41.2%

Detroit: 54.9% vs. 45.1%

Single Family vs. Multiple Family Structures - this one gives you a clue on built density of each city which with former density gives you a big clue on overlal density.

Grand Rapids: 63% vs. 37%

Lansing: 68.2% vs. 31%

Flint: 77% vs. 23%

Detroit: 69.9% vs. 30.1%

Percentage of building in housing stock with 20 units or over - this gives a clue to the number of large apartment/condo buildings in each city.

Grand Rapids: 7.4%

Lansing: 8.4%

Flint: 4.4%

Detroit: 10.9%

Just some interesting stats I'd thought you guys might have liked to have seen.

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That is interesting.

It's no surprise about the amount of single family homes in Flint when you think about it, though. When Flint was the fastest growing city in the US, it was also near the top for per capita income. It's likely most residents could afford to build a new house, and the city most definately was auto-oriented by then.

BTW, hood, here's a link that summarizes most of what's going on in downtown Flint. Admittedly it needs a bit of updating.

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Yeah, at a time, both Flint and Detroit were some of the overall wealthiest cities in the country with the highest home-ownership rates in the country. I know for a fact that Detroit had the highest home-ownership rate in the nation during either the 40's or 50's.

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Yeah, at a time, both Flint and Detroit were some of the overall wealthiest cities in the country with the highest home-ownership rates in the country.  I know for a fact that Detroit had the highest home-ownership rate in the nation during either the 40's or 50's.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That was part of what spurred their severe decay, when people are that wealthy they usually don't need to get much out of their house, so if they wanted out they could afford to undersell it or abandoned it. Lansing has been saved from this rapid and severe urban decay because it has always been lower-middle income, so we suffer from a MUCH slower and less severe urban decay, although it will probably end with the same result.

I think you both got the right building that I was talking about just north of downtown on the left side (if your driving north), a brick building with one section collapsed, the others boarded up. I have always heard the southside of Flint was decent, but I think it's pretty small, isn't it? The Northside I know is really bad, I have always heard a lot about Dayton Ave.

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Part of that is true, though the wealth of the city is also what allowed it to become as grand as it did. There are plenty of other wealthy cities that have been able to reinvent themselves. It was mainly Detroit and Flint's nearly sole dependnce on the auto industry that wrecked them, not so much that they had too many wealthy citizens.

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