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Detroit expanding blight-removal work to more neighborhoods

DETROIT – Detroit says it’s planning to expand its blight-removal program into more neighborhoods as part of $42 million in newly approved funding.

The announcement Monday from the city comes after the U.S. Treasury Department announced the money in April and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority signed off on the effort earlier this month. In all, Michigan is getting $253 million in recent funding.

Mayor Mike Duggan says in a statement that the city plans to take down 5,000 vacant structures this year and 6,000 next year.

The boundaries for the program have been expanded. To date, the city has been allocated $170 million in federal blight removal funds, including this newest round. So far, Detroit says it’s used those funds to demolish more than 8,600 vacant buildings since January 2014.

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