Neighborhood Beautification Program FAQs

1.    What is the Neighborhood Beautification Program (NBP)?

The Neighborhood Beautification Program is a mini grant program designed to fund 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, block clubs, faith-based, and nonprofit community-based organizations in the city of Detroit to implement land-based projects that repurpose or beautify vacant lots in neighborhoods. Projects fall under three categories: Clean-Up Activities, Community Gardens, and Public Space Activities.

2.    How do I register for the Department of Neighborhoods (DONs) to start a block club?

HOW TO GET STARTED - Contact your neighborhood District Manager’s district office in-person to turn in your block club application form or request an application.  Instructions


3.    Whose information should I provide in the User Information and Organization Information section?

The information in both the user information and organization information sections should reflect who is filling out the application. This will be the main contact person to whom the Program Administrator or HRD will contact for any questions or issues during the application review process. It will also be the person who will be notified of their grant award status, and who will be awarded.


4.    How do I apply for the NBP Mini-Grants?


5.    What documents should I present as the Fiscal agents?  Fiscal agents should be prepared to provide the following financial documents for their organization:

  • 501 (c)(3) letter issued by the IRS
  • A List of the Board of Directors
  • Annual organization budget for Fiscal Year 2021
  • An Audit for Fiscal Year 2021 OR a Balance Sheet & Profit and Loss Statement for Fiscal Year 2021.
  • Certification of Good Standing
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • 2021-2022 Michigan Annual Nonprofit Report


6.    I am a nonprofit organization that is acting as a fiscal agent for this grant award, but aside from accepting the grant funds, I will not participate in the project. Do I also need to register with the DONs?  

No, if an organization is functioning solely as the fiscal agent for the grant award and will not participate in any of the programming activities, they do not need to register with the DONs. But the applicant will need to list the fiscal agent on their grant application and be prepared to submit financial documents on their behalf.


7.    My project involves several entities, who would be receiving the grant funds? Which entity should be the one to complete the application?
Although the project involves several entities, the application should be completed and submitted by the organization implementing the project. If the organization is not a non-profit, the fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)3 should complete the application. 

8.    I am a school/school district. Can I partner with a non-profit in my community?

Yes, a school or a school district may partner with a non-profit, if the lot is: not located on school grounds, owned by the school, is in the neighboring vicinity, and is used for public activity.


9.    What expenses are eligible?
Grant funds can be used to cover costs associated with delivering the Neighborhood Beautification Programs (i.e., materials, contractors, supplies, equipment, etc.).


10.    What expenses are not eligible for funding? Funds awarded through this RFP cannot be used for:

  • Conducting lobbying, carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation
  • Influencing the outcome of any specific election through any means Federal staff time
  • Purposes other than charitable, scientific, or educational Budget shortfalls, general support, or endowment funds
  • Land acquisition or real estate purchases
  • Individual scholarships or fellowships
  • Reimbursement purposes (i.e., to cover costs associated with events or activities that have already occurred)
  • Payroll for staff
  • Any costs not directly related to the funds requested in the proposal

11.    Will insurance be provided during the construction of the project, and after the project?

Insurance is an eligible expense for the duration of the project if you request this expense in your budget.


12.    When will the organization receive the land deed to the property?
The Detroit Land Bank expects to deliver the deed to the property in approximately two weeks of receiving the Title Work.


13.    Will the City of Detroit, or the Detroit Land Bank take the property back once it is improved?

The property purchased under this program will remain with the organization that has purchased the property.  As owners of the property, you have all the rights and responsibilities of property ownership.


14.    I operate a 501(c) 3 am I eligible to receive funding?
Yes.  However, you must partner with a registered Detroit Block Club, or Community Organization.


15.    I previously purchased several lots from the Detroit Land Bank, can I apply for funding to improve these lots under this grant program?
Private property is not eligible for funding.  However, you can apply for funding if you turn over the (deed) ownership of those lots to a block club or community organization.


16.    My home, and the homes of seniors living in my area need improvements to their homes, can these funds be used to improve our private residence or private property?
No.  The funding restrictions do not allow for improving private property.


17.    If my organization is not a designated 501(c)3, how will we receive our grant funds?
If your organization is not a designated 501(c)3, the funding will go to the fiduciary for disbursement.  The 501(c)3 will then issue the grant funds to your organization.

18.    I am a resident, and I would like to transfer the lots from my name to the neighborhood association’s name.  What are the steps to make a deed transfer?

Steps to transfer Lot from Owner to LLC:

I.    Notary (Not serviced by Wayne County) You may find a notary at any of the following locations: bank, insurance company, credit union, UPS Store, County Clerk or Law office.

II.    Quit Claim Deed (400 Monroe St.)

  1. Appointment or walk-ins accepted
  2. 15/first page $3 additional pages. If pages exceed $100 you will have to pay state/county taxes ($8.60 per every $1000)

III.    Property Transfer Affidavit (CAYMC Building, 2 Woodward)

  1. Walk-ins accepted
  2. No fees if transferred before 45 days from date of quit claim deed

Note: Although it is not required by state law, it is RECOMMENDED that you register your deed.

Location Addresses:
Wayne County Records Division (400 Monroe St. Detroit, MI 48226)
313 224 3561

CAYMC – 1st Floor Suite 130 (2 Woodward) 
313 224 3400

Property Tax Information


19.    How do I apply for an L.L.C?

Go to Form:  LLC Form 

Follow the instructions on How to Apply for LLC in Michigan Video


20.   If an applicant is beautifying four (4) lots, do they need to submit four (4) Building Permit Applications and pay $150 X 4? Or can all lots be included in one application and one fee assessed?

Yes, they would need to combine the parcels with the Tax Assessors Office.


21.   Can the plot plan drawing include all lots (as long as they are demarcated), or does each lot need to have a separate plot plan on a separate document?

If combined this would not be an issue. If not combining the parcels, they can submit one (1) plot plan clearly demarcated each parcel. We will review as one (1) project area.

Parcel Combinations allow you to:

  • Save on permitting fees! Pay one permit fee overall rather than fees for each parcel.
  • Have more freedom with your site design! Combining lots will remove some set back requirements for each individual lot and allow you to build over former lot lines.
  • Receive one tax bill rather than multiple, reducing the chances you miss a bill.


22.    Where can I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can get a Certificate of Good Standing from The State of Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)



For questions, you may also contact:
Tamra Fountaine Hardy, Director, Neighborhood Services at [email protected] or Kerry Baitinger, Program Analyst at [email protected]