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Homebuyers get a boost with repairs grant

Alexander Sinn • Oct 31, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Grand Haven’s Neighborhood Housing Services is offering a new grant to help homebuyers afford a home within their budget that requires some repair.

The Home Purchase Repair grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) is available for income-eligible buyers for $10,000 in down payment assistance and up to $20,000 in moderate repairs. For a family of three, the maximum income for an eligible household is $55,450.

The grant is available for residents of Grand Haven, Grand Haven Township, Spring Lake Township and Ferrysburg.

A previous grant for a new homebuyer on Colfax Street increased the home value by $30,000, according to Grand Haven Neighborhood Development Coordinator Rhonda Kleyn. It also helped increase property values in the neighborhood, she said.

While the grant can help homebuyers stay within their budget, it cannot turn a major fixer-upper into something good as new, she said. Grant funds could help buyers with costs like roof replacements or new windows or furnaces that would otherwise make home buying unobtainable.

There are numerous houses in the area that fit the criteria for the grant, she added.

For many Ottawa County residents, buying a home is not an option, Kleyn said, but for some, a home purchase repair grant can help them buy a house just out of reach.

“They’re in a surviving situation where they can pay all their bills, but they have no extra funds for any type of emergency, and their wage doesn’t support the cost of housing,” she said.

Current high-paying job growth in the county, and statewide, is stagnant, according to Kleyn. Many people who work in Grand Haven cannot afford to live in the city.

The MSHDA grant requires a homebuyer education class offered by Neighborhood Housing Services.

Realtors should not be dissuaded from the extra step if their clients want to take advantage of the grant, Kleyn said. The grant requires about an additional 14 days to close as compared to a traditional mortgage.

“A lot of time there’s a misconception that if they’re going to get a MSHDA grant that it’s going to take a lot longer to close and there’s going to be a lot more difficulties,” she said. “That’s not the case.”

Contact the Housing Grants & Services office at 11 N. Sixth St., or call 616-935-3270 for more information.

Neighborhood Housing Services offers several services to Ottawa County residents including financial counseling in group or one-on-one settings.

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