The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is affecting more than just the physical health of its residents – it’s affecting their financial health as well, influencing everything from real estate trends to crime rates. Fortunately, this community is no stranger to weathering life’s ups and downs.
The flinty facts
The city of Flint used to be well-off, but has been on an up-hill battle since the 1980s recession. It was hard hit yet again during the great recession of 2000-2010, when area employment mecca General Motors took a supersized hit. The water crisis, the city’s most recent slap in the face, then hit in 2014, further devastating the housing market.
Missing out on a piece of the pie
Job losses and health issues created by the crisis in Flint have compounded, hammering the prices of area homes, and hurting residents and businesses at a time when real estate trends in the rest of the country are on the upswing.
A dreary dilemma
Houses that had increased $10/square foot after the auto crisis are now sitting empty. Some of the oldest communities, walking distance from former Buick and Chevy plants, are now derelict, blocks worth of houses even demolished by area government in efforts to prevent crime. Demand is low, and bargain prices aren’t making up for water crisis issues in bringing in buyers.
Hope on the horizon
Despite the array of obstacles, hard-working area residents aren’t giving up. Federal and state money is coming in, fueling rebuilding, with the hope that once infrastructure is changed and water is clean, buyers – particularly young ones – will flock in to take advantage of great properties at bargain prices.
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