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Highland Park gets a makeover

PUAKEA OLAISHA ANDERSON PHOTOS

Construction of new homes helps ‘return city to excellence’

By Puakea Olaisha Anderson
Special to the Michigan Citizen

HIGHLAND PARK — New homes in Highland Park mark the beginning of a community comeback.

Through the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Highland Park was awarded $14.8 million to rehab and build new homes, decreasing decades-long blight.

Once saddled with vacant and abandoned homes and lots, the recovering city is making use of the grant money to revitalize housing stock and move families into the community.

So far, the construction of 24 single family homes on two blocks of Midland Street are near completion. Six of the 24 homes have been rehabbed.

The homes, starting at $49,000, are available to buyers with low to moderate income. Financing programs are available. Citizens Bank is offering $7,500 in down payment assistance.

“We are receiving an overwhelming response,” says Trinity Marketing Coordinator Pamela Dave who works with Highland Park’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2. The program was created to stabilize neighborhoods that have been affected by the economic downturn. NSP2 created the program Form to Keys to help new homeowners. NSP2 also holds an Open House every Saturday and will host The Parade of Homes Oct. 6.

Highland Park residents have been participating in the transition of their community makeover, which models the city’s motto, “Returning our City to Excellence.”

“This is something that I will never forget, these people (contractors) came and employed me. I started off as security, but now I lay concrete and paint the walls,” one Highland Park resident who lives on Midland told the Michigan Citizen.

He added that the revitalization of his community has given hope to residents.

Johnnie Hurston, a homeowner in Highland Park for over 50 years, said, “I feel safer with the new houses being built here. No more vacant lots!”

For more information about NSP2, you can visit www.NSP2.com or call Liz Tintinalli at 313.617.2699.

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