Detroit's Neighborhood Beautification Program offers up to $15K in grants to transform vacant lots

What’s happening: The application window has opened for the City of Detroit’s Neighborhood Beautification Program. Detroit-based block clubs, neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based groups are encouraged to apply for the grants, which can award anywhere from $500 to $15,000 for beautification projects that transform plots of vacant land.

Who (and what) is eligible: The NBP program is available to block clubs, neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based groups based in the city. Three types of projects are eligible for the grants, including community gardens, public space improvements, and clean-up activities.

What they’re saying: “The Neighborhood Beautification Program continues to play an integral role in the City’s efforts to turn blight into beauty,” says Tamra Fountaine Hardy, director of HRD’s Neighborhood Services Division, which oversees the NBP. “We continue to work with neighborhood associations, block clubs, and nonprofits in the city who are interested in beautifying the spaces live, work, and play in. Residents are investing their time, sweat, and creatively transforming into beautiful, welcoming places to gather. We’ve had two very successful rounds of funding and look forward to even more Detroiters applying as we build our city back better than ever before.”

No land? No problem: If an organization is interested in beautifying a vacant parcel but doesn’t own it, NBP staff will assist them with purchasing or leasing vacant lots owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

How to do it: Applications are currently open and being accepted online; the deadline to apply is Friday, Feb. 23. Information sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24, and Wednesday, Jan. 31; and NBP staff will have virtual open office hours for one-on-one sessions each Wednesday, from 9 to 11 a.m., and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.