Application window opens for grants to renovate and build housing in Kalamazoo County

What’s happening: Housing developers and nonprofits have until Friday, Feb. 17, to apply for funding to help address the affordable housing shortage in Kalamazoo County. Grants are available to supplement single family home renovations, and new single family and multi-family housing developments.

What’s available: For the rehab of owner-occupied, single family homes, the county has made a maximum of $30,000 available per house, which can be used for projects updating insulation, roofs, doors, furnaces, and windows. Grants are also available to help fund the construction of new single family homes, as well as multi-family developments. Projects in that latter category will receive additional “scoring points” for multi-family developments that serve 30 percent and below of the area median income (AMI).

Why it’s important: "In Kalamazoo County, we believe everyone should have access to safe, affordable, housing and according to the housing plan, the population in the county is growing and housing construction is not keeping pace; it is estimated that 7,750 new housing units are needed to appropriately house the new households forming or looking to locate in the county," says Board of Commissioners Chair John Taylor. "We need creativity, innovation, private equity, tax credits and philanthropy now more than ever, and we are looking forward to our partners submitting proposals so the Board of Commissioners can evaluate the projects and award funding early in 2023."

How they’re doing it: The affordable housing funding is made possible by a Kalamazoo County housing millage first levied in 2021 and scheduled through 2028. This is the second year of said millage. More than $6.7 million was provided to housing development and supportive services in Kalamazoo County in the first year of the millage.

What they’re saying: "Kalamazoo County has made great progress the first year of the housing millage and the program has leveraged over $100 million in outside funding to expand affordable housing,” says Mary Balkema, Kalamazoo County Housing Director. "Kalamazoo County is honored to be the only county in the state to levy a housing millage."

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