HUD Helps State of Michigan Expand Habitat for Humanity Homeownership, Empowering "Can Do" Communities to Expand Habitat Partnerships

Monday, February 11, 2002

Through the effective use of HUD programs and local resourcefulness, Michigan has taken an active role in increasing homeownership throughout the state. Michigan and many other states that are strong supporters of Habitat for Humanity initiatives now see opportunity knocking - particularly for lower-income families - with the new attention HUD has focused on "sweat equity" homeownership programs, and proposed funding increases.

Some of the most widely used programs in Michigan today to support Habitat's efforts include HUD's CDBG, HOME, and SHOP programs, as well as federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) along with a variety of cities and counties also work as active partners with Habitat for Humanity to provide even more opportunities for low-income families to become first time homebuyers.

[Photo 1:  A recently completed Habitat Project in Roseville, Michigan.] A recently completed Habitat Project in Roseville, Michigan and home to a family of four. All new, proud Habitat homeowner families in Michigan also are the recipients of a FREE range and refrigerator made possible through a donation of $25 million in appliances from the Whirlpool Corporation's partnership with Habitat for Humanity International.

Some of the many steps being taken throughout Michigan to develop and provide additional affordable housing in partnership with Habitat include:

  • The Michigan Affordable Housing Fund, which uses TANF dollars to support programs to increase homeownership prospects. The fund is administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority through an interagency agreement with the Family Independence Agency. Habitat for Humanity is an active participant in the process, which provides oversight of the distribution of funds to affiliate Habitat offices. In the case of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, 23 TANF grants in the amount of $10,000 each were awarded in FY 2001, which was used toward principal reduction. An additional 14 grants are expected in 2002.

  • The City of Holland has a sub-recipient agreement in place with Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity, Inc. and uses CDBG funds to assist Habitat "homeowner-partners" with the acquisition of new or rehabilitated homes at an affordable cost. These funds provide a final affordability write-down to help households that are typically very low-income achieve homeownership. Budgeting for the current fiscal year will assist an additional four qualified homeowner-partners.

  • The City of Lansing uses HOME funds for new Habitat for Humanity single-family homeownership construction projects, approximately three to four per year. In addition, some funding is available to assist with a few rehabilitations of houses for homeownership as well.

  • The City of Grand Rapids sells approximately 10 lots per year to Habitat for Humanity at a reduced cost of $750 per lot along with providing environmental review work in conjunction with the SHOP grants.

  • In Macomb County, the Macomb Habitat for Humanity is granted waivers from the City of Warren, on some of the standard and necessary fees common in the building process while the City of Roseville has provided CDBG funds over the last five years which meant development of nine new houses - in all, 36 members of families that formerly were homeless live in a home of their own. Groundbreaking on a tenth home is expected to begin this spring. A newly proposed budget item includes the construction of a home for a single parent of eight children, one with a physical handicap and who must use a wheelchair.

  • And, effective January 3, 2002, a policy bulletin was distributed on Guidance for MSHDA's Office of Community Development CDBG County Grantees (non entitlement communities) on Partnering with Local Habitat for Humanity Affiliates. This policy establishes procedures whereby CDBG County Housing Program Administrators could use CDBG funding to mirror the TANF grant program described above as well as other entitlement communities with similar programs.

With an established track record, the State of Michigan and local communities look forward to working with HUD and Habitat both this year and next - to create more housing opportunities for an even greater number of families, and the chance for them to live the American Dream.

Content Archived: September 09, 2009