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Detroiters can now apply for Neighborhood Beautification Fund grants to further improve their corner of the city


Detroiters can now apply for Neighborhood Beautification Fund grants to further improve their corner of the city

  • Block clubs, neighborhood associations, and nonprofits can apply for their share of $2.25M in grants, ranging from $500 to $15,000.
  • Grants can be used for neighborhood clean-ups, community gardens, and public space activities.
  • Informational sessions are available to help groups come up with successful applications.

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan, Council President Mary Sheffield, and Councilmember Scott Benson joined City and community leaders today to share how Detroiters can apply for Neighborhood Beautification Program (NBP) grants ranging from $500 to $15,000 to help improve their communities.

The NBP grants provide funding for Detroit-based neighborhood associations, block clubs, faith-based organizations, and nonprofits that currently own the property where they want to carry out a project in the community. The Neighborhood Beautification Program was created to support three types of projects:

  • Clean-up activities
  • Community gardens
  • Public spaces/activities

For those hoping to beautify their community but do not own the land, the NBP will assist organizations with purchasing or leasing vacant lots owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority. Up to 50 projects a year will receive funding.

“Detroiters are proud of their communities and want to roll up their sleeves and beautify the streets they call home, they just need financial help to do so,” said Mayor Duggan. “These grants are a great example of how the City of Detroit is partnering with residents to help beautify their neighborhoods.”

The NBP is part of the Neighborhood Improvement Fund (NIF), which was championed by Council President Sheffield as part of the development deal for the Detroit Pistons’ new headquarters and training facility in District 5. The initial funding for the program is $2.25 million, which includes $1.25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and $1 million in NIF funding. NIF dollars are derived from 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.

“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,” Council President Sheffield said. “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.”

The NIF has an expressed purpose of removing blight; providing new recreational opportunities and home repairs for senior citizens and disabled Detroiters; creating educational and apprenticeship opportunities for young people, and financing affordable housing developments – all with the goal of enhancing, strengthening, and transforming Detroit neighborhoods outside of Midtown and downtown.

How to apply

The Neighborhood Beautification Program is overseen by the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department and administered by the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (Wayne Metro). Organizations can apply at www.waynemetro.org/neighborhood-beautification-grant.  Wayne Metro also will be conducting virtual informational sessions from noon to 1PM June 23 and 6PM to 7PM June 30. Detroiters can register at the link above. The City’s Department of Neighborhoods has also been sharing information about the program during its regular DONcast meetings with communities in each council district to prepare block clubs and neighborhood associations on how to apply for the grants.

The funds available under the 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.

Turning blight into beauty

Today’s kick-off was held at the site of one future NBP applicant. The Mohican Regent Neighborhood Association intends to apply for a grant to turn several long-vacant lots on the corner of East State Fair and Anvil Street into a sitting park, “a peaceful place” for residents of this proud District 3 neighborhood, said George Preston, president of the neighborhood association. Neighbors will vote on the details of their final pitch for the NBP grant.

“This corner used to be an illegal dumping site, but about 100 people from the community have worked hard to clean it up,” said Preston, who has called the neighborhood home for about 35 years. “We want to keep that momentum moving forward and turn it into a gem in the community, a true place of beauty for all to enjoy.”

Benson, who represents the Mohican Regent area as the councilman for District 3, said the dedication of the community and standing up and taking action is what the Neighborhood Beautification Program is all about.

“This is a community where neighbors pitched in and collected money to keep the grass cut and banded together to pick up trash – why shouldn’t they own it?” Benson said. “This program is just one step that the City can take to work with those who share our commitment to make Detroit a better place for us all and take pride in the place they call home.”

Wayne Metro will administer the new program.

“Wayne Metro has helped more than 90 organizations invest not only in their neighborhoods but their organizations,” said Mia Harnos, Wayne Metro’s chief development and communications officer. “We help them create stability plans in order to continue their hard work well into the future. We view our work with this program as part of a much bigger system to get resources into the hands of resident-led organizations to help them both in the short and long term.”

Nonprofits and faith-based organizations must partner with a block club or neighborhood association to apply.

“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, which oversees the NBP. “The City and our partners at Wayne Metro are ready to help Detroiters build a successful application so we can continue beautifying our city together.”

For more information on applying, residents can e-mail Wayne Metro at [email protected] or call (313) 388-9799.