Detroit block clubs, associations and nonprofits have a new opportunity to apply for a portion of $2.25 million in grants to beautify their neighborhoods.
The City of Detroit has launched the second round of its Neighborhood Beautification Program (NBP), which awards grants ranging from $500 to $15,000 toward community clean-up projects and gardens and activities in public spaces. The grants are available for up to 50 projects per year. Interested neighborhood groups can apply here through March 17.
The beautification grants are open to groups that own the properties where the projects will take place. For others with beautification plans for land they do not own, the program will assist those groups with purchasing or leasing vacant lots owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority. To apply, nonprofits and faith-based organizations must partner with a community block club or neighborhood association.
“Detroiters are proud of their communities and want to roll up their sleeves and beautify the streets they call home, sometimes they just need a bit of financial help to do so,” Mayor Duggan said in a news release announcing the next round of grants. “This program is a key tool in helping Detroiters rebuild Detroit.”
The beautification program is part of the Neighborhood Improvement Fund (NIF) which was championed by City Council President Mary Sheffield as part of the development deal for the Detroit Pistons’ headquarters and training facility in City Council District 5.
The initial funding for the program is $2.25 million, which includes $1.25 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars 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.
The NIF aims to strengthen Detroit neighborhoods outside of Midtown and downtown. Sheffield sought to create the fund as a help to community groups that have been dedicated to keeping up and enhancing their neighborhoods.
“I am overjoyed that the second round of applications for the Neighborhood Beautification Program is now live,” said Sheffield, adding “I am looking forward to seeing how the vision of our applicants transform into tangible benefits in the neighborhoods.”
Last year, 36 recipients out of about 100 organizations that applied were awarded nearly $500,000 in NPB grants for projects in all seven city council districts.
The program is overseen by the city’s Housing and Revitalization Department and administered by the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (Wayne Metro).
Last fall, Tamra Hardy, director of Neighborhood Services Division for the housing department, said the city “had a lot of lessons learned” from the first round of the program. Some smaller community groups struggled with paperwork and others encountered challenges with developing site plans.
Wayne Metro plans to host a question-and-answer session Feb. 22 to help Detroiters with the application process.
For more information on applying, email Samuel Coons or Karmel Reeves. The city also offers weekly Neighborhood Beautification Program office hours where residents can join an online chat to get help. The virtual assistance is offered from 9-11 a.m. Wednesdays at this link, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. here on Fridays.