City in search of eligible homebuyer for housing grant

Alex Doty • Feb 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Officials with the City of Grand Haven’s Neighborhood Housing Program say they’re in search of an eligible homebuyer to participate in their Home Purchase Rehab program.

“We’re looking for a potential homeowner to find a home and get it rehabbed,” said Jennifer Howland, the city’s Community Development Manager. “We have $30,000 available from the state to assist with down-payment assistance and assistance with renovation of a new home.”

According to Howland, it’s important that the city find someone to participate because, if they don’t find an eligible participant, the funds for the program won’t come to the community.

The Home Purchase Rehabilitation grant enables income-eligible families to become successful sustained homeowners.

“The client has to be income eligible and be able to get a mortgage at a lender participating in the Home Purchase Rehab program,” said Rhonda Umstead, coordinator of Grand Haven Neighborhood Housing Services.

Umstead noted that the grant provides as much as $20,000 for rehab and as much as $10,000 for closing costs and down payments.

Eligibility guidelines state that homebuyers must have between 40 and 80 percent of the area median income based on family size and have less than $20,000 in cash assets.

Umstead said eligible properties must be located in the city’s Eastown neighborhood, which is bounded by Beacon, Madison, Beechtree and Waverly streets.

“It’s a lien that’s placed on the property (and) it’s a 10-year forgivable lien,” Umstead said, noting that if the homeowner moves before 10 years, they pay off the remainder of the loan at a prorated amount.

She also noted that the rehab grant would be able to provide funds for items such as windows, roofs, heating equipment upgrades, and abatement work, but the funds can’t be used for cosmetic changes.

“We do know that there are several houses for sale in Eastown that would qualify, just based on a glance and the price range,” Umstead said.

People who are interested in seeing if they’re eligible for the program are encouraged to contact Umstead at 616-935-3275. She said it’s nice to work with prospective buyers from the beginning in order to navigate all the requirements of the program.

“We can get an idea of how that home looks and how it fits in with the program,” Umstead said.

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