City proposes distribution of neighborhood investment/HOME ARP funding
Published on March 14, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids has outlined funding recommendations totaling $8.5 million available for activities supporting the FY 2024 Neighborhood Investment Plan and HOME-ARP Allocation Plan.
At today’s City Commission’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Connie M. Bohatch, senior managing director of community services, outlined investments of $8,494,574 from various federal funding sources to achieve outcomes included in two plans administered by the Community Development Department.
The FY 2024 Neighborhood Investment (NI) Plan is used to allocate Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program funds. Activities support the third year of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2021-2025 Regional Consolidated Housing and Community Development (HCD) Plan adopted by the City Commission on February 9, 2021. NI Plan recommendations constitute the City’s FY 2024 Housing and Community Development Annual Action Plan activities which serves as the application for the CDBG, HOME, and ESG programs.
The HOME Investment Partnerships - American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) Allocation Plan is used to allocate supplemental funding authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These funds primarily benefit qualifying individuals and families who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or in other vulnerable populations. Activities include development and support of affordable housing and supportive services (including rental assistance that does not exceed 24 months).
An RFP workgroup reviewed and made funding recommendations selected from 76 applications from organizations requesting more than $18.6 million. One City Commissioner from each ward (Third Ward Commissioner Nathanial Moody, First Ward Commissioner Drew Robbins and Second Ward Commissioner Milinda Ysasi) sat on the workgroup and were assisted by Community Development staff. The Coalition to End Homelessness Funding Review Committee also provided input.
With nearly $6.7 million available for NI Plan activities and approximately $2.1 million available for HOME-ARP projects, the workgroup reviewed proposals with the aim to maximize limited funding. Each proposal had to address needs in the City’s Consolidated Housing and Community Development and HOME-ARP Allocation plans. They also had to align with the City’s Strategic Plan.
“The amount of federal funding appropriated from a variety of sources this year will help meet the needs of our low-income and unhoused populations,” Bohatch said. “I thank all who submitted applications for funding and are stepping up to provide these much-needed services.”
Residents and stakeholders can provide feedback on the funding recommendations through April 14. Written comments are welcomed by emailing email@example.com. Those interested can also participate in a 7 p.m. March 28 public hearing before the City Commission. Funding recommendations and plans are available at: www.grcd.info. City Commission is scheduled to review and approve the recommendations April 25.
The following proposed funding aligns with categories contained in the Neighborhood Investment Plan and City’s Strategic Plan:
NI Plan Outcome 1: Prevent and Resolve Episodes of Homelessness
Strategic Priority: Economic Prosperity and Affordability – $986,298
Funding is recommended for the following projects that will provide 200 households financial assistance and supportive service to obtain or retain permanent housing:
$403,545 Community Rebuilders/Tenant Based Rental Assistance – HOME
$120,000 Grand Rapids Urban League/Homelessness Prevention – HOME-ARP
$100,000 Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services/ Street Outreach – HOME-ARP
$302,753 The Salvation Army/Rapid Re-housing – ESG
$ 60,000 Reserved for Coordinated Entry – CDBG
NI Plan Outcome 2: Improve Access to and Stability of Affordable Housing
Strategic Priority: Economic Prosperity and Affordability – $150,000
Funding is recommended for the following projects that will provide 155 hours of fair housing education and outreach, 45 housing tests to determine compliance with fair housing laws, and support 400 people with legal counseling and/or representation on housing related matters:
$75,000 Fair Housing Center of West Michigan/Fair Housing Services
$75,000 Legal Aid of Western Michigan -Housing Legal Assistance
NI Plan Outcome 3: Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing
Strategic Priority: Economic Prosperity and Affordability – $2,202,000
Funding is recommended for the following projects that will create 145 new housing units/136 affordable:
$400,000 Amplify GR/Boston Square Together F3 – HOME
$380,000 LINC Up/Motown Square Affordable Housing – HOME-ARP
$600,000 United Methodist Community House/UMCH 900 – HOME
Funding is recommended for the following Acquisition, Development and Resale (ADR) projects that will create affordable homeownership opportunities for eight households:
$200,000 Habitat for Humanity of Kent County/2 projects in Southtown area – HOME
$200,000 ICCF/2 projects in Southtown area – HOME
$200,000 LINC Up/2 projects in Garfield Park and Southtown areas – HOME
$222,000 New Development Corporation/2 projects in Creston and Stocking Areas and Community Housing Development Organization Operating Support – HOME
NI Plan Outcome 4: Improve the Condition of Existing Housing
Strategic Priority: Economic Prosperity and Affordability – $4,282,776
Funding is recommended for the following projects that will renovate and preserve 224 affordable rental units for households at or below 50% AMI:
$300,000 Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids/NHC - 21 Weston – HOME-ARP
$400,000 Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids/NHC - Verne Barry Place – HOME-ARP
$500,000 Grand Rapids Housing Commission/ Hope Community – HOME-ARP
Funding is recommended for the following projects that will support repair and accessibility improvements in 675 homes and bring 3,500 housing units into compliance with various codes:
$1,368,688 City of GR Code Compliance/Housing Code Enforcement
$850,000 City of GR Community Development Department/Housing Rehabilitation Program
$25,000 Disability Advocates of Kent County/Accessible Housing Services
$225,000 Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project/Minor Home Repair
$100,000 Home Repair Services of Kent County/Access Modification
$514,088 Home Repair Services of Kent County/Minor Home Repair
NI Plan Outcome 5: Foster Engaged, Connected and Resilient Neighborhoods
Strategic Priority: Engaged and Connected Community – $268,600
Funding is recommended for the following organizations at FY22 levels* to support actions that build relationships, lift resident voice, and enhance neighborhood stability. Activities include community organizing, education and referral services, and the promotion of equitable development.
$18,800 Creston Neighborhood Association
$17,800 East Hills Council of Neighbors
$15,800 Eastown Community Association
$26,500 Garfield Park Neighborhoods Association
$22,200 Heritage Hill Association
$54,200 LINC Up
$19,200 Midtown Neighborhood Association
$16,500 Neighbors of Belknap Lookout
$25,900 Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association
$24,100 South West Area Neighbors/JBAN
$27,600 West Grand Neighborhood Organization
*In FY23, $67,150 of one-time CDBG-CV funding was awarded.
NI Plan Outcome 6: Improve Community Safety
Strategic Priority: Safe Community – $409,900
Funding is recommended for the following organizations at FY22 levels* for efforts that enhance resident safety and quality of life in neighborhoods. Activities include crime prevention education and organizing, violence reduction strategies, and other services to ensure health and safety.
$40,300 Baxter Neighborhood Association
$21,600 Creston Neighborhood Association
$20,400 East Hills Council of Neighbors
$18,000 Eastown Community Association
$30,500 Garfield Park Neighborhoods Association
$25,500 Heritage Hill Association
$22,100 Midtown Neighborhood Association
$19,000 Neighbors of Belknap Lookout
$29,800 Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association
$47,400 Seeds of Promise
$27,700 South West Area Neighbors/JBAN
$27,600 West Grand Neighborhood Organization
Funding is recommended for the following project to support community mental health services for 85 people who are under insured or uninsured:
$80,000 Family Outreach Center/Expanded Outpatient Program
*In FY23, $82,475 of one-time CDBG-CV funding was awarded.
NI Plan Outcome 7: Improve Economic Opportunity
Strategic Priority: Economic Prosperity and Affordability – $195,000
Funding is recommended for the following projects that will provide job training or readiness services to 218 people:
$45,000 Grand Rapids Urban League/Housing and Economic Opportunity
$50,000 Hispanic Center of West Michigan/Youth Employment Initiative
$25,000 West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology/Adult Career Training
$25,000 Women’s Resource Center/New Beginnings