Community Development

Overview

We build great neighborhoods in partnership with community organizations by supporting housing and community development activities.

Residential Rental Application Fees Ordinance(PDF, 27KB)

Are you a new homeowner? Have you recently relocated to Grand Rapids?

If you answered yes to either question, congratulations and welcome! Learn about the resources available for your new journey.

Go to Homeownership Page

Are you having a financial crisis and can't make your mortgage payment? You have some options.

Talk to Your Lender

As soon as you know you will not be able to make your payment, contact your mortgage lender and see if you can work something out. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), talk with your counselor as soon as possible.

Call Home Repair Services of Kent County

If you are not able to work something out with your lender, or you do not understand your rights, call Home Repair Services of Kent County. They are the first point of contact for foreclosure assistance.  Home Repair Services is a nonprofit agency. Talking with their housing specialists is free. They will talk with you about your situation and tell you what resources may be available to help you. 

1100 South Division Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
(616) 241-2601

If you would like to learn more about foreclosure matters, check out these sites:

Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
The State of Michigan provides information about homeownership. This includes an overview of the foreclosure process. They also give tips to help you keep your home, manage your credit, and prioritize your debt.

MSHDA’s program, Step Forward Michigan, has three different ways it can assist:
  • Unemployed Mortgage Subsidy- Unemployed homeowners may be eligible to receive assistance with paying their mortgage. You may receive 50% of monthly mortgage payments (up to $750 per month) for a maximum of 12 months.  Eligible homeowners may also qualify for up to $3,000 for an existing mortgage delinquency. 
  • Mortgage Loan Rescue- Homeowners may apply for loans up to $10,000 towards delinquent mortgage payments. This will allow normal payments to resume.
  • Principal Curtailment- This assistance provides funds up to $10,000 towards your existing mortgage loan to make monthly payments more affordable.

 

Other rules and restrictions apply.  Contact Home Repair Services of Kent County at (616) 241-2601 for more information about Step Forward Michigan, or visit www.stepforwardmichigan.org.  Homeowners may apply for assistance directly via the website. 

Community Foreclosure Response Toolkit

This toolkit assists people, groups, and organizations to effectively respond to the foreclosure crisis. The toolkit has resources for mortgage and tax foreclosure prevention.


The federal government provides information and links to other pages for ideas to avoid foreclosure, including how to work with your lender or housing counselor.

Your Housing Rights

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. In Michigan, state law provides additional protection for age and marital status. Grand Rapids also has local ordinances that expand coverage for sexual preference and legal and verifiable source of income.

If you believe your rights have been violated, contact one of the following agencies to file a complaint:

Fair Housing Center of West Michigan
The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan works to ensure equal housing opportunities. They willl look into complaints of housing discrimination. The agency will also work with victims of housing discrimination to ensure justice.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigates individual complaints of housing discrimination.

Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan
The Dispute Resolution Center provides mediation services to resolve fair housing complaints.

Legal Aid of Western Michigan
Legal Aid of Western Michigan provides free legal services. These services are for non-criminal cases. You must be low-income and/or an elderly resident. Legal services may relate to home purchases, negotiations with repair contractors, utility shut-offs, evictions, lead paint hazards, foreclosures, and other housing issues.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights
The Department of Civil Rights works to prevent discrimination through educational programs. It investigates and resolves discrimination complaints.

The Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University's Community Research Institute (CRI) keeps a map showing Grand Rapids' neighborhood associations. CRI also has useful neighborhood data and statistics.

Leave grandrapidsmi.gov
CRI Neighborhood Map


What's on the map?

Basic Information

  • Neighborhood Association Boundaries
  • Neighborhood Association Contact Information

Statistics

  • Demographics
  • Economic and Education
  • Housing
  • Birth Statistics
  • Crime and Safety
  • Civic Engagement
  • Retail Leakage
  • Commute Patterns
  • Infrastructure
  • Public Health
  • Indicators Overview

Other Features

  • Export Data
  • Download Printable Maps
  • Compare Statistics across Neighborhoods
  • See Changes over Time

The Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) program was established by Public Act 147 of 1992. Development and/or rehabilitation of residential housing in a NEZ may be eligible for a property tax exemption. Click here for more information.

City of Grand Rapids Neighborhood Enterprise Zones

The city of Grand Rapids has 5 NEZs:

  • North Baxter
  • Belknap Lookout
  • Turner Gateway 
  • Heritage Square
  • Wealthy Heights

Privately-owned NEZs:

  • Midtown Michigan Street
  • Eastown Flats
  • The Rowe
  • The Gateway at Belknap

Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Map
Curious to see if the neighborhood you live in is a NEZ? Click here to use our Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Map. 

Application for Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Certificate
This application must be completed to request:

  • Certificate for New Construction
  • Rehabilitation of an Existing Structure
  • Transfer of an Existing Certificate

The form can be filled out online and then printed. The application must be completed before getting a building permit and starting construction.

To apply you must have a Citizen Access Account. Click here for instructions on creating an account.

Once you have a citizen account created, click below to fill out the online NEZ Application.

 Apply for NEZ Certificate

Mathieu-Gast Exemption
Are you planning to do some repairs to your property? The value these repairs add to your property may qualify for the Mathieu-Gast exemption. Click below to view and download the form and instructions.

Apply for Mathieu-Gast Exemption

 

Grant Information

We administer the following federally-funded grant programs:

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)
  • Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
  • Emergency Solutions/Shelter Grant (ESG)
  • Neighborhood Stabilization (NSP)

Community Development 

The CDBG program provides funding for a variety of community development programs, primarily to improve housing, the living environment, and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents. CDBG supports housing rehabilitation, code enforcement, improvements to community facilities, public improvement projects, economic development projects, community services, and other programs. CDBG activities may be undertaken by eligible government agencies, qualified non-profit organizations, or certain other eligible service providers. The Community Development Department administers approximately $4.5 million in CDBG funds annually.

Home Investment Partnerships program (home)

The HOME program is designed to help communities provide affordable housing for lower-income persons. The funds may be used for homeowner rehabilitation and first-time homebuyer programs. It may also be used for rental rehabilitation and rental assistance programs. New construction is permissible under certain circumstances. HOME activities may be undertaken by the City or by nonprofit/for-profit developers. A minimum of 15% of a community's annual grant must be set aside for a certain kind of nonprofit agency known as a "Community Housing Development Organization", or CHDO. The Community Development Department administers approximately $1 million in HOME funds annually.

justice assistance grant (JAG) program

The JAG program provides funds on a formula basis to units of local government to reduce crime and improve public safety. The City of Grand Rapids uses a portion of these funds for the purpose of establishing cooperative crime prevention programs between community residents and the City of Grand Rapids' Police Department. The Community Development Department administers approximately $80,000 in JAG funds annually.

Emergency solutions grants (esg) program

The ESG program is intended to benefit homeless persons and families by supporting homeless shelters and services. Eligible uses of ESG funds include repair and rehabilitation of shelters, homeless prevention activities, and essential services (such a counseling, placement, etc.). ESG activities may be undertaken by nonprofit homeless shelter or service providers. The Community Development Department administers approximately $310,000 in ESG funds annually.

Income Limits

The CDBG, HOME, and ESG programs operate under federally established income guidelines. The guidelines are based on median family income for the area and are updated each year.     

Neighborhood Investment Plan

The Neighborhood Investment Plan is the City's grant funding plan for housing and community development activities. The City provides funding to support a variety of programs and projects. These investments make a positive impact in the community.

Geographic Targeting

Some of the activities funded under the Neighborhood Investment Plan have geographic targeting requirements. Most of the activities funded by the Community Development Block Grant Program are geographically targeted. The Target Area Map identifies the General Target Area (GTA) and Specific Target Areas (STAs) within the City of Grand Rapids. The GTA is the largest geographic area and has access to a range of services, including housing programs, legal assistance, downpayment assistance, and crime prevention. Within the GTA are more concentrated areas of focus, known as STAs. The STAs have access to major housing rehabilitation, street improvements, concentrated code enforcement, and support for neighborhood associations. Generally, community development programs and activities are limited to the GTA. However, activities related to fair housing, affordable housing development, and access modifications for persons with disabilities are available citywide. The Target Area Street Directory is designed to identify the location of specific addresses relative to the GTA and STAs.

The Community Development Department administers other grant programs in addition to the CDBG program. Following is information about geographic targeting requirements for these programs.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
The HOME program supports the targeted approach of the CDBG program in several of its programs and projects. HOME funds may support projects anywhere in the City as long as the activities serve low- and moderate-income persons.

Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG)
This program does not have a geographic targeting component other than the city limits; however, the targeted approach is generally supported for crime prevention activities.

Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG)
This program does not have a geographic targeting component other than the city limits.

Click below for the Target Area Map and Street Directory.

Target Area Map(PDF, 723KB)

Target Area Street Directory(PDF, 933KB)

Annual Action Plan

This one-year plan describes funding and activities for the fiscal year.  The Action Plan includes planned programs and funding amounts for the following programs:

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)
  • Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG)
  • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)

FY 2019 Annual Action Plan(PDF, 2MB)
FY-2018-Annual-Action-Plan.pdf(PDF, 1MB)
FY-2017-Annual-Action-Plan.pdf(PDF, 2MB)
FY-2016-Annual-Action-Plan.pdf(PDF, 888KB)
FY-2015-Annual-Plan-Final.pdf(PDF, 1MB)
FY-2014-Annual-Action-Plan.pdf(PDF, 1MB)

5 Year Plan

The five-year plan, also known as the Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan, provides an overview of the Grand Rapids' community and a long-term strategy for federally funded housing and community development programs.

FY 2017-2021 Consolidated Plan.pdf(PDF, 8MB)
FY 2012-2016 Consolidated Plan.pdf(PDF, 5MB)

Annual Performance Report

The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) is submitted to HUD every year. It is for the following programs:
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)
  • Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) programs

The report is for July 1 through June 30 of each fiscal year. It describes activity that occurred during the year.  The report also assesses performance based on the Housing and Community Development Annual action Plan.

FY 2018 CAPER(PDF, 2MB)

CAPER-2017.pdf(PDF, 1MB)
CAPER-2016.pdf(PDF, 2MB)
CAPER-2015.pdf(PDF, 1MB) Attachments(PDF, 42MB)
CAPER-2014.pdf(PDF, 37MB)
CAPER-2013.pdf(PDF, 5MB)
CAPER-2012.pdf(PDF, 11MB)
CAPER-2011.pdf(PDF, 11MB)

Citizen Participation Plan

The Citizen Participation Plan describes how citizens are involved in the planning of the following programs:

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)
  • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) 

Citizen Participation Plan(PDF, 50KB)

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

The Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice involves a review of how the City's ordinances, policies, and procedures affect housing location, availability, and accessibility.  It also assess how conditions, both public and private, affect fair housing choice. 

Residential Target Market Analysis (March 2015)

This analysis was completed by Zimmerman/Volk Associates. It considers the potential for housing development and redevelopment in the City. It focuses on areas near neighborhood business corridors. It also looks within the City’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) boundaries.

Executive Summary(PDF, 338KB)
Target Market Analysis(PDF, 22MB) 

On April 22, 2015, City Commissioners Ruth Kelly, Senita Lenear, and Elias Lumpkins, Jr. lead more than 200 people in a community conversation called The Great Housing Strategies. This event discussed the future of Grand Rapids housing.

 About Great Housing Strategies

Section 3 is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement. Section 3 gives low income residents preference for new employment, training, and contracting opportunities. Section 3 also gives contracting preferences to local businesses that employ low-income residents.

Section 3 is activated when construction and rehabilitation projects create the need for new employment, contracting, or training opportunities. Recipients or contractors are not required to hire Section 3 residents or award contracts to Section 3 businesses other than what is needed to complete a covered project.  If a covered project does not result in new employment, contracting, or training opportunities, the requirement of Section 3 is not activated. Nevertheless, the recipient and its contractors are required to submit Section 3 report information.

As a condition of receiving HUD housing and community development program funds, recipients must certify they will comply with the requirements of Section 3. 

Section 3 Handbook

This document describes Section 3 requirements, guidelines, and policies. It describes what the City of Grand Rapids and those who contract with the City need to do to follow Section 3.

Section 3 Handbook

Section 3 Resident Certification

Would you like to apply for Section 3 preference in hiring? Click below for the Section 3 Resident Certification form.

Section 3 Resident Certification(PDF, 485KB)

Would you like to be on the Section 3 preference list? You'll need to provide proof of residence and income.

You'll also need to be income eligible. You may use one of the following to prove income:

  • A public housing or Section 8 lease agreement
  • W-2 or income tax return
  • Receipt of public assistance

Section 3 Business Certification

Are you a business seeking Section 3 preference? Fill out our form below.

This is a self-certification, and Section 3 businesses are responsible for maintaining their Section 3 status and complying with all related HUD regulations. Certifications for Section 3 preference must be submitted to the Community Development Department before submitting bids for review.

Section 3 Plan 

You also need to fill out a "Section 3 Plan" form. It certifies you are committed to complying with the Section 3 act, Section 3 regulations, and the City of Grand Rapids Section 3 Guidelines.

Section 3 Plan- Owner/Developer and Contractors

Section 3 Plan- Subcontractors

Section 3 Business List

For a list of the Section 3 businesses that have submitted certification to the City of Grand Rapids, click below.

Section 3 Business List

 

Are you a contractor or subcontractor? Are you working on construction projects covered by Davis-Bacon prevailing wage and reporting requirements? The following resources are for you.

Prevailing Wages 

The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) requires the payment of prevailing wage rates, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor, to laborers and mechanics. Prevailing wages are used for most federal construction projects costing more than $2,000.

Contractor's Guide to Davis-Bacon

This guide is for contractors and subcontractors. It explains the requirements for construction projects covered by the federal Davis-Bacon Act and other labor laws.

Guide to Davis-Bacon

Construction Categories: Definitions and Examples

Before selecting the proper wage determination for a project, you must select the correct construction category. This document defines the four categories of construction (building, heavy, highway, or residential) and provides help in determining the type of construction a project falls under.

Construction Categories

Wage Determinations/ General Decisions

A wage determination, as defined by the Department of Labor (DOL), is "a list of wage rates and fringe benefit rates for each classification of laborers and mechanics…which has been determined to be prevailing in a given area for a particular type of construction."

Wage Determinations

Payroll Form

This form must filled out weekly by contractors/subcontractors for each employee working on a project covered by Davis-Bacon requirements.

Payroll-Form

Payroll Checklist

This is a checklist of items to review before submitting payroll documents.

Payroll-Checklist

Subcontractor Instructions

This document gives instructions for submitting Certified Payroll Reports.  

Subtractor-Instructions

These resources are for organizations who submit information to the City.  They'll help you follow the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) rules.   


Section 106

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to take into consideration the effects of their undertakings on historic properties.  HUD has delegated responsibility to local agencies and non-profits organizations to act on their behalf as the responsible entity for the Section 106 process.  The NHPA allows for the execution of programmatic agreements that establish the means by which federally-funded programs will comply with Section 106 requirements via an alternate process.  The City of Grand Rapids has entered into two such programmatic agreements with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer. 

Housing and Community Development Programmatic Agreement(PDF, 817KB)
Lead Hazard Reduction Programmatic Agreement(PDF, 802KB)

Structure and Site Inventory Card
The Structure and Site Inventory Card is used to help the local Preservation Specialist's determine listings for the National Register of Historic Places.

Structure and Site Inventory Card(PDF, 13KB)

Review of Work Form
This form is used to request a Preservation Specialist to review your site for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Review of Work Form(PDF, 102KB)

Noise 
The Noise Guidebook is a reference document for implementing HUD's Noise Policy.

Go to HUD Noise Guidebook

Floodplain Management
A FIRMette is a full-scale section of a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). You create this map yourself online.  The tutorial includes how to find your flood map, and make the FIRMette.

 Go to FEMA Flood Map