Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > Detroit’s Neighborhood Renaissance: Gilbert Family Foundation Fuels $15M Investment

Detroit’s Neighborhood Renaissance: Gilbert Family Foundation Fuels $15M Investment

May 15, 2024

Photo Credit: The City of Detroit via YouTube

Michigan Chronicle
Ebony JJ Curry

May 13, 2024

Detroit’s revitalization efforts received a significant boost with a $15 million infusion into the Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF) from the Gilbert Family Foundation. This marks a new chapter in the partnership between the City of Detroit and Invest Detroit, aimed at rejuvenating 10 key neighborhoods.

Laura Grannemann, the executive director of the Gilbert Family Foundation, praised the SNF’s impact, citing substantial reductions in poverty and residential vacancy rates across all 10 target neighborhoods. She expressed pride in supporting inclusive economic growth alongside Detroit’s city leadership and Invest Detroit.

Residents are deeply involved in shaping their neighborhoods’ future, participating in a year-long planning process to enhance community assets such as streetscapes, corridors, and parks. The goal is to prevent displacement and enhance the quality of life for all Detroiters. The new funding will allow the SNF to deepen its focus in neighborhoods like Jefferson Chalmers, Warrendale/Cody-Rouge, and Campau/Davison/Banglatown.

Mayor Mike Duggan thanked the Gilbert Family Foundation for its commitment to Detroit’s neighborhoods and urged others to join in investing in SNF 3.0, continuing the city’s revitalization efforts.

Since its inception in 2016, the SNF has utilized over $262 million to create new retail spaces, renovate parks, improve streetscapes, and develop housing. A 2020 survey by the University of Michigan’s Detroit Metro Area Communities Study (DMACS) found increased satisfaction among residents in the initial three SNF neighborhoods regarding their community, housing conditions, and local amenities. A follow-up study last year aimed to further understand the impact of the SNF on these neighborhoods.

The $15 million investment from the Gilbert Family Foundation is part of its larger 10-year, $500 million commitment with the Rocket Community Fund to promote opportunity and equity in Detroit. This commitment has already helped prevent eviction and property tax foreclosure for many Detroit families, among other initiatives. Grannemann highlighted the Detroit Tax Relief Fund, which has kept 10,000 families in their homes, and the Detroit Eviction Defense Fund, which has provided legal counsel to approximately 10,000 families, ensuring housing stability and access to resources.