Preparing for the Next Storm: How a Grant Will Help Detroit Fight Blight and Floods

The City of Detroit, Michigan government received an $8.9 million grant in 2015 from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Sanction Fund. Detroit plans to use the grant to demolish blighted homes and use vacant lots to reduce flooding through stormwater control, which could become more common with climate change. This grant is particularly significant, because it is the first time Detroit was eligible to receive additional federal funding  due to its history of mismanaging federal funds.

In the wake of August 2014 storms that flooded nearly 66,000 homes in Detroit, the City recognizes that similar rain events could become more common as the climate changes, and that it is critical for Detroit to properly manage stormwater.

Projects will be concentrated in 5 Detroit Neighborhoods. In the Aviation Sub and Islandview neighborhoods, the city will demolish approximately 115 residential and commercial properties, install landscaping to manage stormwater in up to 200 vacant lots, and direct stormwater to bio-retention basins to hold rainwater and reduce flooding.

Projects in the Brightmoor, McDougall-Hunt, and Mt. Elliot neighborhoods will install trees and landscaping in vacant lots and work to design large stormwater retention projects that could be replicated in other neighborhoods.


Publication Date: August 7, 2015

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Adriane Davis

Related Organizations:

  • City of Detroit, MI


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Case study
  • Funding program

States Affected:


Go To Resource