GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With the help of a partnership between Mercantile Bank and Samaritas Affordable Living, seniors in Muskegon will soon have more options for affordable living. The bank worked to secure $960,000 in Affordable Housing Grants and another $33,000 added by the bank to secure the grants.

“We recognize the significant need for affordable housing in our communities and are pleased to partner
with Samaritas and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis to provide safe, affordable housing options to seniors,” Mercantile Bank’s Chief Compliance and Community Development Officer, Sonali Allen said.

Nearly half of the grant money, $460,000, was distributed to Samaritas Affordable Living of Muskegon. Right now, construction is underway on 53 new units for seniors 55+ in the community at a facility in downtown Muskegon on Spring Street. The remainder of the grant money, $500,000, is part of a three quarters of a million dollar project to renovate Samaritas’s Affordable Living of Alpena. That project will update kitchens and bathrooms in 65 apartments and add improvement to common spaces. Mercantile added their own $10,000 grant to the project and is providing the construction loan financing.

Photo courtesy of Mercantile Bank

“These two projects will allow many seniors to move into a new home for the first time. Mercantile is committed to ensuring that housing is accessible and affordable to all in our communities and strives to accomplish this through partnerships with organizations like Samaritas,” Allen said.

Samaritias says that affordable housing is needed now more than ever and partnerships and new investments like theirs with Mercantile Bank can help make an even bigger impact.

“If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the average Michigander is being priced out of
housing across the state,” executive director for Samaritas Affordable Living Development, Joel Lautenbach said. “With partnerships like Mercantile, we can renovate existing housing while keeping it affordable and leverage dollars to create new affordable housing communities.”