Council President Mary Sheffield, City and Community Leaders Gather to Announce Detroit’s First Neighborhood Improvement Fund Program


Council President Mary Sheffield, City and Community Leaders Gather to Announce Detroit’s First Neighborhood Improvement Fund Program

  • Program will allow block clubs, neighborhood associations to apply for share of $2.25M in grants to go toward making neighborhoods across Detroit even more beautiful places to call home.

City Council President Mary Sheffield will be joined by several block clubs and neighborhood associations to announce the creation of the first program, the Neighborhood Beautification Program, part of the Neighborhood Improvement Fund, at 10AM Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 2196 Field St. (at the location of Islandview’s Community Garden and Fridge). Council President Sheffield, in conjunction with the Housing and Revitalization Department and the Department of Neighborhoods, will introduce the program to the community and announce the kick-off of a series of informational sessions designed to introduce the program to the community and prepare the block clubs and neighborhood association on how to prepare and apply for the grants.

“When I created the Neighborhood Improvement Fund, I had one goal in mind, which was bringing resources and assistance to neighborhoods outside of downtown and Midtown. The Neighborhood Beautification Program is a manifestation of that vision, and I am thoroughly excited to bring this opportunity forward, allowing our neighborhoods to directly benefit from tax abatements downtown,” proclaimed President Sheffield.

The Neighborhood Improvement Fund (NIF) was created by City Council President Mary Sheffield in response to calls from residents to negotiate community benefits as a part of the development deal to build the Detroit Piston's new headquarters and training facility in District 5, which Sheffield represents on the council. NIF dollars are derived from the proceeds of the net income tax revenue collected from NBA players’ salaries during home games played at Little Caesars Arena and the salaries of Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment employees. As stated in the resolution creating the NIF, these funds are dedicated to neighborhoods outside of Midtown and downtown. The fund has an expressed purpose of removing blight; providing new recreational opportunities and home repairs for seniors and the disabled; creating educational and apprenticeship opportunities for young people, and financing affordable housing developments – all with the goal of enhancing, strengthening, and transforming Detroit’s many neighborhoods.

“I, along with the other members of the Field Street Block and Islandview community, have been looking for ways to aesthetically improve our neighborhood and enhance our Community Garden and Fridge. The announcement of the Neighborhood Beautification Program represents a path forward in those endeavors and an example of Council President Sheffield honoring her commitment to the residents of Detroit,” said Jennine Spencer, president of the Field Street Block Club.

The funds available under the newly created Neighborhood Beautification Program (NBP) can be used to fuel creative ideas, spark neighborhood revitalization, or strengthen the connections between neighborhood-based groups. The City of Detroit will provide resources to allow the eligible organizations and residents to become actively engaged in the health and well-being of their community and to encourage residents to get involved in making their neighborhood better.

The initial funding for the program will be $2.25 million, which includes $1.25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and $1 million in Neighborhood Improvement Fund funding. Grants will range from $500 to $15,000, and up to 50 projects a year will receive funding. Under the program, funds will support the repurposing and beautification of property owned by neighborhood associations, block clubs, faith-based organizations (such as churches), or nonprofit organizations. For those entities that have a desire to beautify their community but do not own land, the program will assist the organizations with purchasing or leasing vacant lots owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority located near the organization to carry out a public activity and purpose in their neighborhood. The program will be overseen by the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department and administered by a third party. Organizations can apply in about a month, following City Council approval of the administrator contract. Details on where to apply will be unveiled at that time.

“The Duggan administration is committed to making sure that every neighborhood has a future and combined with blight-elimination and single-family stabilization efforts, this fund will go a long way to making those neighborhoods stronger and more beautiful places to live and raise a family in our city,” said Tamra Fountaine Hardy, director of HRD’s Neighborhood Services Division.

Neighborhood Improvement Fund’s Beautification Program Announcement

WHAT:   Press conference to announce the Neighborhood Improvement Fund’s First Program                            Entitled the Neighborhood Beautification Program

WHO:      City Council President Mary Sheffield, Housing & Revitalization Dept., Dept. of                                      Neighborhoods, Field Street Block Club, Charlevoix Village Association, Lakewood                                Street Block Club, etc.

WHEN:   10AM Wednesday, April 27, 2022

WHERE: 2196 Field St. Detroit, MI 48214 (near Islandview’s Community Garden and Fridge)