LANSING, Mich. — Blighted structures leave psychological impact anywhere, but the effect is quickly amplified in small communities, communities like the Village of Dansville. A point noted by Village leaders and the Ingham County Economic Development Council (EDC) who sought guidance and assistance from the Lansing Economic Partnership (LEAP), resulting in the recent acquisition of a $15,000 Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) Grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
“We are beyond excited for the Village of Dansville, recognizing how important neighborhood homes and developments are to the fabric of our county,” said Josh Church, EDC chair. “This achievement exemplifies the power of partnerships and validates again the value of our EDC and LEAP for Ingham county.”
Through the NEP, MSHDA aspired to fund innovative activities addressing rural neighborhood needs. Specifically, NEP identified housing enhancements, beautification and public amenity improvements as focal points for neighborhood change.
“The purpose of the Neighborhood enhancement Program (NEP) is to improve the quality life of the residents. MSHDA looks for projects that are highly visible, impactful to the neighborhood, and where there is community buy in. We felt like the Village of Dansville project met those qualifications.”
Through a series of conversations between Dansville Village staff, LEAP and municipal boards, a combination of housing and public amenity enhancements, rooted in accessibility and safety, was prioritized for the NEP grant application. Beautiful historic homes border the Village’s main streets, inviting all to enjoy the community pavilion for leisure and play. Yet, the homes and pavilion are in desperate need of exterior upgrades to better accommodate the Village’s residents and visitors.
New accessible ramps and railings, and upgraded pavilion beams, benches and concrete, among others, go hand in hand in catalyzing higher quality of life experiences for all ages and abilities in and around the neighborhood.
“As a small community, direct change goes a long way,” said Carole Colburn, Village President. “We value every resident here in Dansville, and revitalizing homes and amenities demonstrates just that. Thank you to our amazing staff, LEAP, EDC and MSHDA for empowering all walks of life to create more safe, fun and memorable experiences in Dansville for years to come.”
Half of the grant funds will go toward home improvements for special populations most in need and will involve an application process. The remaining half will go toward the community pavilion. The Village of Dansville looks forward to investing in these improvements starting in September 2019.
“LEAP works with each of the Ingham County EDC communities to identify one or two key priorities every year, which we then relentlessly pursue on their behalf,” said Dillon Rush, Tri-County Development & Placemaking Manager. “In considering this grant, we knew Dansville had a great shot. We went for it and we worked with them to write a successful application. Congratulations to the Village of Dansville and Ingham County EDC, and thank you to MSHDA for recognizing this community had the drive and potential to put these funds to work.”
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