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New Program Provides Funding To Improve Detroit Neighborhoods

(CBS DETROIT) - Neighborhoods scarred by blight now have a new avenue to restore their former beauty.

It's called the Neighborhood Beautification Program.

Countless AREAS  outside of Downtown and Midtown Detroit are relics of what used to be.

Dozens of blocks are abandoned, with vacant lots and empty homes.

Mayor Mike Duggan says funds are now available to bring the beauty back to neighborhoods.

"You've got to have the lots, now if you've already got the lots from the Land Bank, you can go on to the website right now and put in your application," Mayor Duggan said.

Block clubs, neighborhood associations and non-profits can apply for grants ranging from $500 to $15,000 to revitalize their communities.

The Neighborhood Beautification Program is a fund with over $2 million to invest in community clean-up initiatives, community gardens and public space projects.

"I've heard countless times from residents and neighborhood leaders how they go in their own pockets to make sure that vacant lots next door to them are maintained and manicured," said Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield.

"Just need extra help to in funding to bring those visions to reality."

George Preston is the president of the Mohican Regent Neighborhood Group.

He says he plans to turn several vacant lots near East State Fair and Anvil into a sitting park.

"I am truly ecstatic when I hear that the funding is available and I want to say thank you, thank you. thank you to Mayor Duggan," Preston said.

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