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Payton A. Heins

Payton HeinsAssociate Director of Michigan Initiatives
877-542-4842 x24


Payton A. Heins serves as Associate Director of Michigan Initiatives at the Center for Community Progress, working out of Flint and Detroit, MI. In this role, Payton works with communities across the state of Michigan to help them develop new approaches to vacant, abandoned, and problem properties. Payton also recently researched and co-authored Take it to the Bank: How Land Banks Are Strengthening America’s Neighborhoods (2014).


Prior to joining Community Progress in 2012, Payton managed project-based and housing choice voucher programs for a nonprofit in Eaton County, Michigan, helping homeless individuals and families obtain stable and affordable housing. She has also worked with various community based organizations, including the Southwest Detroit Business Association, on community-driven nuisance abatement, and served as research assistant to Dr. June Manning Thomas at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Payton received her Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Michigan, specializing in Housing, Community and Economic Development and focused her Masters capstone project on community engagement for land use planning. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University, where she majored in Social Relations and Policy, and spent two years studying Political Science at Universitaet Freiburg in Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany.

Payton is a member of the American Planning Association, the Michigan Association of Planning, the Detroit Economic Club, and a proud resident of Detroit’s Morningside neighborhood.