Community Development Block Grant
Dearborn, MI - Mayor Michael Guido
"Neighborhoods First" Blitz Program
Dearborn's "Neighborhoods First" Blitz Program is an intense approach to neighborhood renovation which "blitzes" a single neighborhood at a time. Its long-term goals for each neighborhood targeted include crime prevention and awareness, commercial and residential code enforcement, outreach counseling services and crisis intervention, educational assistance, infrastructure improvements and maintenance, purchase and demolition of substandard structures, and subsequent redevelopment. The Program's mission is fulfilled while maintaining the "core values" of public health and safety, integrity, compassion, sensitivity and timeliness.
The 1998 Blitz focused on the Warren Grove community, a predominantly residential area of 700 homes where about 55 percent of the households are low- to moderate-income. Police officers and firefighters advised on how to reduce chances of becoming a crime victim or having a house fire; abandoned and unwanted vehicles were removed at no charge; public signs and signposts were repaired or replaced as necessary; trees were trimmed; streets, alleys and other public areas were cleaned; the City water system was repaired as needed and the sewer system was thoroughly flushed; and the City's professional outreach counselor was available to assist residents with information on programs, community-based organizations and social service agencies that provide assistance with everything from getting enough good food to eat to emergency shelter.
Dearborn's CDBG program was utilized in several ways: The summer before the Blitz, CDBG financed a much-needed street resurfacing project. During the Blitz, CDBG code enforcement officers helped to quickly identify 42 properties "in need of repair." Home Rehabilitation Program personnel reached out to each of these property owners, placing eligible properties at the top of their waiting list. CDBG Environmental Technicians, responsible for rodent control, intensified abatement efforts and brought in other City crews to eliminate conditions contributing to infestations.
The first Blitz was applauded by the community at large, and Dearborn officials consider it a success. The Neighborhoods First Blitz Program, which is being modified and improved based on initial experience, is scheduled to be implemented on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis until the entire City has been covered.
Contact: Fred Weiss, Assistant Director, Economic and Community Development, (313) 943-2180
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright ©1999, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.