Updated: Tuesday, 28 Jul 2009, 6:38 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 28 Jul 2009, 3:09 PM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Twelve areas in West Michigan will receive grant money from the state to help deal with the foreclosure crisis.
Seven homes in the Garfield Park neighborhood will be bought and rehabilitated through a grant by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
The grant, worth $820,000, is part of a $10.1 million grant for 34 cities, counties and non-profit organizations to help areas blighted by foreclosures.
All the grant money for Garfield Park will be used to fix additional homes and possibly build a community center.
Other areas around the state include Portage ($145,000 for five homes;) the Bethany Housing Ministries in Muskegon ($225,000 for three homes;) the Neighborhood Investment Corporation, also in Muskegon ($196,400 to tear down five homes and rehab five others;) the Midtown Neighborhood in Holland ($404,000 for six homes;) the City of Three Rivers ($233,745 to tear down five homes and acquire five foreclosed homes;) the City of Sturgis ($42,000 to demolish four properties;) the Battle Creek Area Habitat for Humanity ($180,000 for three homes;) the Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity ($60,000 to rehab three homes;) the Kent County Habitat for Humanity ($280,000 for five homes;) and the Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity ($208,000 for four homes.)
The funding is provided through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) as part of the competitive grant process.
“By eliminating blight, we will help make neighborhoods safer for citizens and more inviting for businesses and economic investments,” Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
The Garfield Park neighborhood is one of the areas that will benefit. Just south of Burton Avenue is an example of a neighborhood's vitality that community organizers want to keep intact.
However, while neighborhoods are kept up by homeowners, foreclosure properties have been an eyesore for others.
About 784 homes are in foreclosure in the neighborhood now, according to Foreclosure Response, a nonprofit. That is almost one in six homes.
Lighthouse Communities is another nonprofit that will coordinate with other groups. With $820,000 in grant money, it will will buy seven residential properties or homes and one commercial property for a developmental center.
These foreclosures have made a crushing impact on homeowners, said Kathleen Woodstra, of the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association.
"We have streets that almost every house is vacant, and it has really taken away from the neighborhood feeling and the quality of living for those that are left and their re-sellability," Woodstra said.
Lighthouse Communities has not selected the homes it will purchase.