Donovan To Be Keynote Speaker

Donovan To Be Keynote Speaker LANSING, MI - Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will serve as the closing keynote speaker at the 12th annual Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing on Wednesday, April 28 at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. Secretary Donovan is expected to give an update on the progress Michigan and communities nationwide are making in the effort to combat the effects of vacant and abandoned homes while creating jobs.

"I welcome Secretary Donovan to Michigan for the Conference on Affordable Housing," Governor Granholm said. "Secretary Donovan recognizes that by wisely investing our resources, Michigan has an exciting and historic opportunity to address the challenges we face while simultaneously driving the state's economic recovery and the reinvigoration of our cities and neighborhoods."

The secretary is also expected to discuss HUD's efforts to meet the need for quality affordable rental homes, to promote housing as a platform to improve quality of life, to build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination and to transform the way HUD does business.

"The 21st century demands regional collaboration on an unprecedented scale," said MSHDA Executive Director Keith Molin. "Working together with Secretary Donovan and the federal government we can help Michigan communities in developing the assets in our urban communities."

Donovan joined Granholm at a January 14 press conference in Detroit to announce HUD's award of $223 million in Recovery Act funding to Michigan under the second round of HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP2 grants to local communities and nonprofit housing developers are part of a $2 billion initiative to remove blight, revive neighborhoods and spur local economies. Michigan's award was the nation's largest statewide grant under the second round of NSP grants.

The award went to the Michigan Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in a partnership agreement with 12 Michigan city governments including: Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Pontiac, Saginaw, Wyandotte, and eight land banks including: Calhoun County Land Bank, Berrien County Land Bank, Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority, Genesee County Land Bank, Wayne County Land Bank Corporation, Kalamazoo County Land Bank, Ingham County Land Bank, and Saginaw County Land Bank.

MSHDA's "New Michigan Urban Neighborhood" plan marked the first time in its 43-year history that MSHDA sought HUD funding through a coalition that includes city government partners and eight of the state's most progressive land banks. MSHDA will allocate the funds to acquire and redevelop more than 6,000 foreclosed, abandoned and vacant properties in Michigan, demolish 2,500 structures and rehabilitate or build 1,500 homes.

The innovative tactics MSHDA is employing to launch the "New Michigan Urban Neighborhood" plan will be one of the highlights of the Conference on Affordable Housing, which will be held April 26-28 at the Lansing Center. The conference is the nation's largest event of its kind and is attended by experts and advocates on housing, community development, finance and public policy.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority is dedicated to building a thriving and vibrant future for Michigan. MSHDA provides tools and resources to improve people's lives through programs across the state. These programs assist with housing, build strong neighborhoods, and help create places where people want to live and work. MSHDA's programs work in four areas: affordable rental housing; supporting homeownership; ending homelessness; and creating vibrant cites and neighborhoods.*

*MSHDA's loan and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
Source: Michigan State Housing Development Authority

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