GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — More than a decade ago, Mercantile Bank and the City of Grand Rapids created a partnership to help improve the city’s neighborhoods, the Neighborhood Impact Program. Since 2009, the West Michigan-based bank has provided more than $1 million in NIP grants to people living in the city.

Along with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Mercantile and the city offer the NIP program to qualified homeowners. Allowing them to take care of essential home maintenance projects they may have put off for budget reasons.

“As a local community bank based in Grand Rapids, it’s important to us to help homeowners afford the costs
associated with home improvements that have a positive impact on neighborhoods,” SVP of Mercantile Bank, Community Development Officer Sonali Allen said. “These grants not only help to improve and maintain the supply of affordable housing, but they help individuals, families and neighborhoods continue to thrive.”

This month, Mercantile announced that they have awarded more than $1 million dollars in NIP grants to low-to-moderate-income homeowners who need to make interior and exterior home repairs. They have provided more than 100 grants of up to $7,500 each and the city has given nearly $1.8 million to these same projects. The grants and 50-percent of the loans are forgiven to NIP recipients after five years.

We value our long-standing partnership with Mercantile Bank,” Grand Rapids managing director of community services Connie Bohatch said. “Access to NIP grants is an important tool in leveraging the
City’s limited home improvement program funds. Together we can have a greater impact ensuring more homes are healthy and safe, while preserving quality housing in our neighborhoods.”

To learn more about the NIP program, click here. Or to find other affordable housing programs at Mercantile, click here.