MSHDA awards $1.15 million to Habitat for Humanity of Michigan for housing-related programs

Media Contacts:

Misty Elliott (MSHDA)
517-335-9847 | elliottm7@michigan.gov

Sandra Pearson (Habitat for Humanity Michigan)
517-485-1006 ext. 111 | spearson@habitatmichigan.org

October 24, 2019

LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Board today approved grants totaling more than $1.15 million to Habitat for Humanity of Michigan (HFHM) for three major housing-related programs that will impact communities across the state. The programs seek to help middle- and low-income families with various housing needs, including down payment assistance, critical home repairs and home furnishings.

“The future of our state depends on supporting the development and maintenance of safe, secure housing for Michigan families,” said Gary Heidel, acting executive director of MSHDA. “Partners like Habitat for Humanity of Michigan provide us opportunities to directly address the needs of homeowners and homebuyers to an even greater degree.”  

Down Payment Assistance and Priority Home Repair
MSHDA awarded $1 million to be used for an exclusive Habitat for Humanity Down Payment Assistance program and critical home improvements. The down payment assistance funding will provide forgivable loan funds to assist Habitat partner families in covering prepaid expenses, reasonable closing costs and principal reduction up to $12,000 and up to $350 in reimbursement for pre-purchase homebuyer education counseling. During its 2019 fiscal year (FY19), HFHM reported 51 homeownership projects closed using down payment assistance funds—equaling $124,000 in annual property taxes—and issued $6,400 in reimbursements to individuals who participated in homebuyer education or financial counseling.

“Habitat affiliates have embraced the down payment assistance and priority home repair programs as valuable tools to increase their impact locally,” said Sandra Pearson, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan. “Down payment assistance helps people access affordable homeownership, while priority home repair helps others improve and stay in the homes they already own.”


The Priority Home Repair program is administered through local Habitat affiliates across the state that have identified homeowners in need and assists them in making urgent home repairs. Projects are chosen based on importance and urgency, prioritizing safety, health and security. In FY19, Habitat affiliates served 144 families with priority home repairs, the majority of the projects were roofing related or furnace, water heater and plumbing repairs or replacements.

Prison Build Program
MSHDA annually awards $150,000 to HFHM in partnership with the Michigan Department of Corrections for the prison build program. This program provides Habitat partner families with affordable home furnishings like kitchen cabinets and furniture built with high quality craftsmanship. One of the many benefits of this program is that it provides prisoners with valuable work experience they can draw from when they exit the prison system.

“The Prison Build program provides healthy and high-quality products for Habitat homeowners, and it also works to address the skilled trades worker shortage that so many building trades are experiencing right now,” said Pearson. “We’re incredibly thankful for MSHDA’s support of these programs that help so many families and individuals gain access to safe, affordable housing.”

“We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with HFHM to provide Michigan families access to homeownership programs,” Heidel said. “MSHDA and Habitat have been working together to help build and improve homes for Michigan families since 1993.”

Financing Approval for Northlawn Gardens in Detroit
The MSHDA Board also approved a low-income housing tax credit deal that includes a tax-exempt mortgage and HOME loan totaling roughly $9.8 million‬ to rehabilitate Northlawn Gardens Apartments in Detroit. Rehabilitation work on the 96-unit development will include updated walkways and parking areas; roof replacement and repairs; new windows; and appliance and furnace updates or replacements as needed.