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Prop N Neighborhood Improvement Bond Program Named Midwest Deal of the Year by Bond Buyer
This recognition distinguishes the City of Detroit’s Neighborhood Improvement Bonds as an outstanding achievement in municipal finance in the Midwest Region
The voter-approved $250 Million Proposal N Neighborhood Improvement Bond program designed to remove blight throughout the City has completed 780 demolitions and stabilized 232 salvageable homes
The goal of the bond-funded program is to demolish 8,000 blighted homes and stabilize thousands of more homes
The City of Detroit’s 2021 Neighborhood Improvement Bonds have 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. This award comes a year after over 70% of Detroit voters approved Proposal N (Neighborhood), a $250 Million comprehensive plan to address vacant houses through preservation and demolition.
“This recognition by Bond Buyer is significant as we continue to transform the City by removing blight from neighborhoods. We appreciate the honor as it highlights the uniqueness of our Neighborhood Improvement Bond program and its tremendous impact that will be felt for years to come,” says Jay Rising, City of Detroit, Chief Financial Officer.
Detroit’s Neighborhood Improvement Bond program is groundbreaking because after completing the demolition of over 15,000 blighted properties with Federal Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) dollars, the City innovatively pursued municipal bonds to continue funding urban blight removal. This is one of the very few examples—if any—of municipal bonds being used for blight remediation. As a result, the City is now able to reach every neighborhood, whereas the HHF dollars could only be used within the HHF-defined boundaries. The goal is to demolish an additional 8,000 blighted homes and stabilize thousands for future renovation and sale, improving the safety, value, and health of our neighborhoods.
Moreover, the City’s Neighborhood Bond projects are expected to benefit certain targeted populations including minorities and marginalized communities. Of $70 million of bond proceeds awarded thus far under the City’s procurement, 90 percent have gone to qualified Detroit-based companies and 50 percent to black-owned Detroit-based companies.
Since the passage of Proposal N, Detroit’s Demolition Department has completed 780 demolitions, has 2,200 more under contract, and more than 900 in the demolition pipeline. Meanwhile, the stabilization of 232 salvageable homes has been completed, with another 1,800 under contract.
With this recognition, Detroit’s Bond program is among the 10 finalists for Bond Buyer’s “Deal of the Year Award” announced on December 16. Bond Buyer is an independent municipal finance publication that features news, analysis, and data through its website, e-newsletters, alerts, and daily print edition.