ESG Program

Learn about our environmental, social, and governance program, and how we bring those values to life with green bonds, sustainable projects, and more.
Detroit’s First Social Bond Sold in
Homes Demolished (as of December 31, 2023)
Homes Stabilized (as of December 31, 2023)

About Our Program

Detroit Social Bond Program

In November 2020, over 70% of Detroit voters approved a $250 million bond program to fund the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Plan. The Neighborhood Improvement Plan (NIP) is a long-range plan to address vacant houses in neighborhoods throughout the City through demolition and stabilization to enhance property value, stimulate economic activity and create value for Detroit residents. Stabilizations consist of activities that prepare vacant homes for sale, including but not limited to trash removal, boarding up windows, securing entryways, tree removal, and basement pump-outs.

In February 2021, the City of Detroit successfully issued the first series of NIP bonds, selling $175 million of tax-exempt and taxable Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2021A and 2021B, that were designated as Social Bonds (the “2021 NIP Bonds”). In July 2023, the City issued the second series of NIP bonds, selling the remaining voter-approved $75,000,000 in tax-exempt and taxable Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2023A and Series 2023B (the “2023 NIP Bonds”), which were also designated as Social Bonds. Proceeds of the 2021 and 2023 NIP Bonds are being used to demolish 8,000 vacant houses, further reducing dangerous residential blight and raising property values for neighbors. Proceeds are also being used to stabilize several thousand more homes before they are sold.

The Social Bond designation is based upon alignment with the core components of ICMA’s Social Bond Principles, meeting several of the ICMA’s “Social Project” categories, including affordable housing, employment generation and socioeconomic advancement and improvement. The projects are expected to benefit several of ICMA’s “target populations”: excluded/marginalized populations, communities that are underserved regarding affordable homeownership, and minorities.

In November 2021, the 2021 NIP Bonds received the Bond Buyer’s Midwest Deal of the Year Award. Detroit’s 2021 Bonds were distinguished for the innovative financing of urban blight remediation projects and for their “Social Bond” label which attracts ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) focused investors.

As of December 31, 2023, the City had spent approximately $151.1 million of the 2021 and 2023 NIP Bond proceeds, which funded 5,270 demolitions and 1,971 stabilizations.