Jubilee, Habitat break ground on mixed-income neighborhood

After a delay due to COVID-19, the infrastructure and road are now complete for a joint project from Jubilee Ministries and Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity. Ground has been broken on three homes and contractors are expected to have those first homes framed and roofed in the next couple of months, so interior work can continue through the winter and the homes can be move-in ready by spring.

The joint project, called Park Vista Place on East 40th Street near Holland’s Maplewood Youth Complex, is a case of “better together” organizers say.

“We can do more working together than we can separately,” says Jubilee Executive Director Steve Grose.

Working together

Each organization will build five new homes over the next year. By working together on a mixed-income neighborhood, Jubilee and Habitat can build homes en masse and help more families faster.

The Habitat homes will go to families who make 30% to 80% of the median area income while most of Jubilee Ministries clients make 80% to 120% of the median area income.

The 40th Street project is slated to be complete by spring or summer 2021.

Lakeshore Habitat has a long history of building and rehabilitating  homes for low-income families in West Michigan. Jubilee Ministries is a 501(c)(3) community development nonprofit that focuses on strengthening Holland’s neighborhoods through the revitalization of housing and other community assets. Jubilee is also the force behind tThe Midtown Center in downtown Holland. 

Numerous assessments have shown the Holland area is in need of affordable housing, says Don Wilkinson, executive director of Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity.

“Unfortunately, with the current housing market, most new homes that are being built are not considered affordable to many in our community,” Wilkinson says.

Between 2009 and 2015, home prices increased 54% in the city of Holland, 44% in Ottawa County, and 46% in Allegan County. The median rental rate in the Holland area increased 30%, according to statistics compiled by Good Samaritan Ministries. Meanwhile, median wages increased 4.04%.

Just the beginning

A 2019 Housing Next needs assessment showed a need for nearly 300 entry-level for-sale homes by 2022 for those with a household income of $40,000 to -$70,000.

The mixed-income 40th Street neighborhood is just the beginning of a solution, Grose says.

The organizations will also partner on a pocket neighborhood on West 36th Street with upwards of 42 homes, a mix of single-family houses and two- and three-unit townhomes for residents earning between 50% to 120%  of the area median income.

“These two projects can really change the perception,” Grose says

The partnership between Jubilee and Habitat will create high-quality neighborhoods people want to live in, organizers say.

“People will look at it and say ‘I want to be a part of something like that,’” Wilkinson says.

The homes will include quality workmanship,desirable amenities, and good locations. 

Lakeshore Habitat hosted a series of “Build the Block” open-house-style events at the 40th Street build site this month where the community learned more about Lakeshore Habitat, its impact in the community and the Park Vista Place development.

At one event,the four families who have been identified to receive homes in the neighborhood had a chance to see the site and to meet their soon-to-be-neighbors. One young neighbor, an 8-year-old girl, saw the sign depicting her future home and asked “Can I hug it?”
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