City makes first deposit in affordable housing fund

Grand Rapids has taken its first financial step to increase the supply of affordable housing and address racial and ethnic disparities in housing.

The city commission on Tuesday, Dec. 7 approved a payment of $ 957,365.78 to deposit with the affordable housing fund trustee, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF).

Grand Rapids CFO Molly Clarin and Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong will provide initial instructions to GRCF for the investment with plans in place for the soon-to-be-appointed Affordable Housing Fund (AHFB) board of 11 people to provide future financial guidance.

The Affordable Housing Fund was created through the work of the city’s leader in housing practices, Housing Next, and funding to address housing disparities was first considered in the FY2021 budget. of the city and adopted earlier this year, the Business Journal previously reported.

After receiving more than 100 candidates, the city board is expected to begin appointing members to the AHFB in early 2022. The board will provide recommendations to guide spending and distribution decisions and draft bylaws and policies for the fund. . Plans for the board also include drafting requests for proposals for the $ 5 million investment in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds for affordable housing and making investment recommendations. to the city commission.

The AHFB will be authorized to promote gap financing in support of mixed-income, not-for-profit and for-profit development projects that include affordable housing and will also be empowered to provide grants or loans to helps homeowners qualifying income to support needed repairs, reduction in energy and climate-driven costs, and additions for accessory housing units.

The board may also assess property acquisition, preservation and pre-development of loan funds for qualified and experienced non-profit housing partners.

More information on the Grand Rapids Affordable Housing Fund is available on the city’s website.

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