Just like the cleanup after a brutal storm, the state of Michigan is attempting to clean up after the recession. One of the hardest hit areas seems to be the housing market which has forced thousands of residents to relocate. As Congressman Dan Kildee explained recently, lost populations in cities across the state have led to an oversupply in vacant and abandoned housing, which in turn is driving down the property values for homeowners in the area.

But the introduction of a new congressional bill could change that. His first bill since becoming a member of Congress, Kildee has introduced this month the Revitalize America Act which would free up a significant chunk of federal aid to help reinvest back into communities. If passed, the bill would free up around $124 million to be used to remove blight from Michigan communities, allowing for new zoning and construction across the state.

The Revitalize America Act is designed to help reinvest in our nation’s cities and towns, explains Kildee who hopes that this new legislation will help struggling cities repurpose abandoned homes and commercial properties in order to revitalize their communities. According to the Brookings Institution, between 2000 and 2010, the number of vacant housing units increased by nearly 44 percent nationwide. Just in Detroit alone, there was an estimated 40,000 vacancies.

Kildee’s extensive background in housing policy and land-use has given him the added advantage to see this bill followed all the way through Congress. He’s probably well aware of the necessary legal steps that need to be taken in order to sell and redevelop the vacant properties, while also ensuring that proper zoning laws are adhered to. It’s not clear at this time though when the bill will be passed and new construction can begin.

Source: The Real Estate Rama, “Congressman Dan Kildee Introduces First Bill to Help Michigan Homeowners, Revitalize America’s Communities,” April 15, 2013

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