The Obama administration and state officials are in discussions on a deal that would free up an additional $100 million to soften the blow to Detroit pensioners, two people familiar with the talks told the Free Press late Tuesday.
The two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the information, confirmed that there have been talks about the federal government supporting a move by the state to give Detroit $100 million in federal money for blight remediation. That, in turn, would free up $100 million of the more than $500 million that emergency manager Kevyn Orr planned to spend for blight removal over the next 10 years. Orr could then use that money to reduce pension cuts.
The federal funds would come from the Hardest Hit Fund, a $7.6-billion Obama administration effort established in 2010 to help the 18 states most hurt by the housing downturn.