LARA Issues Warning Against Scam Targeting Michigan Architects

This month, the Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced that there has been a scam going around targeting architect licensees. 

If you’ve received any emails or text messages that claim to be associated with the Michigan government and they request sensitive personal information - this is a scam.

Here are some ways to keep your personal information safe:

  1. Do not trust unsolicited requests for any personal information. LARA will not contact you directly asking for personal information, and their official correspondence always includes a contact number or email address.

  2. Do not respond to or open hyperlinks in emails or text messages requesting to “validate your personal data.” If there are any hyperlinks in the email, check the link or URL before clicking. LARA websites always have the “Michigan.gov” domain name.

  3. Do not share your licensing, personal, or financial information over the telephone or via text message with a purported representative of the Department. Contact LARA at BPLHelp@michigan.gov or 517-241-0199 to verify if the Department is requesting any information from you.

  4. If you suspect fraud, report it immediately online to BPLHelp@michigan.gov. 

After following these steps to protect your information, don’t forget to ensure you stay licensed by completing your continuing education before October 31st! View our state-approved online course packages below.


Check out our on-demand continuing education courses by choosing your state below.

Detroit Revitalization

In 2013, Detroit became the largest municipality in the country to ever have filed for bankruptcy. Nearly 7 years later, city leaders are bringing the city back from destruction: one revitalization project at a time.

While the city still has many problems, ranging from abandoned buildings to infrastructure issues, city leaders have begun implementing initiatives to revitalize the city. Big on the docket: city planning. According to an article in The Architect’s Newspaper, Maurice Cox, architect and former Charlottesville mayor, has developed a team of “36 planners, architects, urban designers, and landscape designers” billed as a think tank to reignite the city of Detroit—preserving existing culture while rebuilding infrastructure in a fresh and vibrant way that will encourage investment and draw new populations to the city.

Cox and his team are determined to harness Detroit’s high levels of community engagement, taking advice gleaned from town halls and other resident inputs to achieve their goals. Many of the team’s initiatives have focused on areas with low population density that are surrounded by higher population-dense areas. Their plans have included a new bike/pedestrian loop through median-income neighborhoods, neighborhood re-designs, and building incentives throughout the city.

In the spirit of preserving Detroit traditions, developers have been given double density allowances if they are able to preserve the architectural facades of buildings while re-designing the interiors. This plan is one of many ways that city planners are trying to encourage developers to keep the unique landscape of Detroit in tact while providing new and improved spaces for residential and commercial use.

Another initiative being put into place by developers Fitz Forward, is a complete overhaul of the Fitzgerald neighborhood, where over 300 properties will be revitalized. By remodeling some homes and beautifying vacant lots with parks and meadows, the developers seek to draw targeted populations to the neighborhood, thus revitalizing the area for current residents as well. Fixing up run down properties and drawing in new tenants helps home owners currently in the area by bringing up property prices and making the area more secure.

These types of projects show forward thinking on the city planner’s part: by determining the needs of current and future citizens alike, they are aiming to use design as well as innovation to heal the city. Both strengths and weaknesses abound in Detroit, but Cox and his team are working hard to “provoke a new kind of urban revitalization: one in harmony with nature and existing cultures, [and] informed by the urban progress made over the last few decades.” (ArchPaper)


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