Flint MI was one of three recipients of the Cities of Service 2019 Engaged Cities Award. Underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the award recognizes cutting-edge techniques to engage residents to solve problems.Each winning city receives a prize of $75,000 that can be used at their discretion in support of furthering the city’s efforts to engage their citizens to tackle problems.
In response to significant property blight caused by a massive decline in population, the city, in partnership with Genesee County Land Bank, created the Flint Property Portal, which allows residents to easily report information on properties. Data collected through the portal enabled the city to receive a $60 million blight elimination grant through the U.S. Treasury Hardest Hit Fund. The grant funds have been used to demolish more than 4,000 blighted structures in Flint. The Land Bank planted low-growing clover in the cleared lots, which significantly diminishes maintenance needs and costs. Community members have since submitted more than 120,000 property messages through the portal, including self-reporting maintenance for 690 vacant lots.
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