Muskegon neighborhood can tap into state funding for home improvement projects

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MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon homeowners in the Nelson neighborhood can receive state funding to make improvements to their home.

Community enCompass, a social and community service organization, distributes approximately $ 37,000 of a statewide program dedicated to improving neighborhoods.

“These are complete exterior upgrades,” said Kimi George, Acting Executive Director of Community enCompass.

Grants of up to $ 7,000 can be used for exterior projects such as siding, porch repairs or landscaping.

Qualifying homeowners must have less than 120% of the region’s median income and be up to date with their taxes and insurance. Income can range from $ 52,240 for a one-person household to $ 102,240 for an eight-person household.

The program includes homes from Clay Avenue to Forest Avenue and from Eighth Street to Terrace and Peck Streets.

Related: How to get emergency rental, utility assistance in Muskegon County

George said homes in the Nelson neighborhood are being targeted because of the significant development in downtown Muskegon.

“We are seeing an investment in housing at market rates. Although we think it is a good thing and positive, if we do not compensate for this development in market rates with affordable actions and with programs like the NEP (Neighborhood Enhancement Program), then gentrification is frankly imminent ”, she declared.

The Nelson neighborhood – historically relatively low-income, according to George – contains the entire downtown area where market-priced housing like Leonard, Lakeview Lofts and Highpoint Flats have increased.

Efforts to offset this include a $ 49 million investment in 240 middle-income homes and Community enCompass building three affordable homes on vacant land.

George said the “house rehab” was meant to keep the current residents of the Nelson neighborhood in their homes.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provided the grant through the Neighborhood Improvement Program that benefits low and moderate income residents.

More than $ 1.8 million has been awarded to communities this year for “improving and stabilizing Michigan neighborhoods,” said a statement from Tonya Young of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program.

Community enCompass plans to help four homeowners with the program, but George said they are “stretching the funds” for minor repairs.

Applications can be sent to [email protected] They are expected on Friday October 15.

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