Grand Rapids Community Foundation Awards $500,000 to Habitat Kent for Equitable Development on West Side

January 20, 2016—Grand Rapids Community Foundation today announced a $500,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. The grant will support Habitat Kent’s Building Blocks strategy that focuses on neighborhood revitalization in Grand Rapids’ west side through new home construction and rehab and repairs of existing homes.

Habitat Kent will develop and preserve affordable housing opportunities and revitalize west side focus neighborhoods by partnering with 120 families to build or repair their homes. The strategy is a continuation of Habitat Kent’s recent two-year neighborhood revitalization campaign that took a holistic approach of creating affordable housing in Grand Rapids neighborhoods.

“Because of the west side’s economic growth and rising property costs, the need for quality and affordable housing is crucial,” said Habitat Kent executive director Bri McKee. “Our neighborhood-centric approach builds upon existing momentum and concentrates our efforts for maximum neighborhood impact.”

“We are committed to ensuring that low-income people on Grand Rapids’ west side have access to affordable housing so everyone can benefit from the economic impact of urban development,” said Diana Sieger, president of Grand Rapids Community Foundation. “Homeownership is an effective tool for stabilizing neighborhoods and creating more opportunity for all people in the area, and we’re thrilled to partner with Habitat Kent for more equitable development on the west side of Grand Rapids.”

On the northwest side of Grand Rapids, especially in areas surrounding Challenge Scholars schools, Habitat Kent will work to preserve affordable homeownership opportunities, allowing low-income residents to benefit from the investment and new opportunities that are flooding the area. On the southwest side of Grand Rapids, Habitat Kent will work to elevate the real estate market, encourage diversified investment for equitable neighborhood development, and assemble the real estate opportunities that will allow residents to implement their self-determined goals.