The City of Grand Rapids, in partnership with the State Land Bank Authority, maintains a list of residential properties available for purchase.
Properties are classified and inventoried under City Commission Policy 900-63. The policy describes the process and requirements to prepare a property for sale. Please read through the entire policy to become familiar with the process and requirements. Sections that provide the most detail about this process are Section 2 “Definitions”, and Section 6.b. “Residential Property”.
Download the Policy(PDF, 211KB)
The policy states that the sale of City-owned property:
- Must be to responsible parties
- Must maximize land use
- Must recoup costs incurred in the ownership of the property
- Must be used to implement the Community Master Plan, City Strategic Plan, and any other plans that may be relevant to the City’s overall goals and objectives
Residential properties for sale are prioritized by the following outcomes:
- Affordable Housing
- Local ownership (defined first as an owner residing within the neighborhood, then the City, then the County)
- Emerging Developers
The properties that are available are vacant lots. A few have homes on them that are currently vacant and unsafe because of their condition. Only proposals that include development of new housing or significant rehabilitation of existing homes will be considered.
As residential properties become available for purchase, the policy also provides a few timelines for who is eligible to submit purchase proposals. You can see the timelines below.
First 6 Months
During the first six months that a property is made available for sale, it will only be available for sale to qualified nonprofit organizations that will build affordable housing.
Examples of qualified nonprofit organizations include community housing development organizations, nonprofit housing developers that have experience developing affordable housing in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, or those that can demonstrate that they have effectively implemented affordable housing developments and have established processes and procedures to ensure affordability is maintained in compliance with governmental or funding requirements.
At minimum, organization requirements include:
- Evidence of nonprofit tax-exempt status (501(c)3 or 501(c)4)
- Official statements that show the organization was created to provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income persons
- At least three years of experience developing affordable housing
- Demonstrated capacity including paid employees with housing development experience that will be directly responsible for the proposed project
During the first six months, only projects that will create Affordable Housing will be considered. A property will be sold for the greater of the annually established price, or the amount the City has invested in the property during its period of ownership, unless specifically waived by the City Commission.
Second 6 Months
During the next six months that a property is made available for sale, it will be available to nonprofits and to individuals or organizations that propose a project that meets at least one of the following priorities:
- At least 50% of the residential units on the property will be developed as rental housing affordable to households earning at or below 80% of area median income (AMI), and for a period of affordability of at least 10 years
- At least 50% of the residential units will be available for sale for owner-occupancy to households earning at or below 80% of AMI
A property will be sold for the greater of the annually established price, or the amount the City has invested in the property during its period of ownership, unless specifically waived by the City Commission.
After 12 Months
If no offers or proposals are received and accepted after one year, the Economic Development Department will accept any proposal and evaluate which, if any, align best with the priorities and guidelines listed in the policy.
This means that we will prioritize proposals that include affordable housing, homeownership, local ownership and emerging developers, even though it is not necessarily required.
View Available Properties
A list of State Land Bank Authority properties is available at the link below.
The comment section of each listing shows who is eligible to submit purchase proposals based on the policy timelines provided in the previous section. If you have questions about a specific property, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to Purchase?
Your first step in the process is to submit the form linked below.
You are required to answer the questions and provide information that will help us determine if your proposal meets all of the requirements in the policy. If we receive more than one proposal, your application will help us determine which proposal will be recommended based on the priorities listed above and in the policy.
Your submission will help us understand your project, your timeline and how you expect to pay for the project. Preliminary applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
Preliminary Property Purchase Inquiry(DOCX, 38KB)