GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Board of Commissioners approved the framework for what it is calling the largest affordable housing fund in West Michigan.
The board approved the guidelines for a new Kent County Affordable Housing Loan Fund and authorized negotiations with nonprofit lender IFF to administer the loan fund, according to Kent County.
The county said the Affordable Housing Loan Fund will total $58.3 million due to a fund match from IFF. In December, the county assigned $17.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to address the shortage of affordable housing.
“With its proven affordable housing experience and unique funding match, IFF was a clear choice to help ensure the success of our innovative new housing fund,” Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Stan Stek said in a news release. “We listened intently to our residents who wanted us to make housing a priority when allocating our ARPA funding. The loan fund will be transformative for Kent County families who desperately need more affordable housing options.”
The loan fund will help developments that meet specific affordability requirements.
The fund is the second of its kind in West Michigan, the Grand Rapids Chamber said in a release, with Ottawa County having a similar program.
A study by Housing Next found Kent County needs to add 35,000 units by 2027.
“We commend the Kent County Commission for their bold leadership and unwavering commitment to creating a brighter future for our community,” Brooke Oosterman, the director of Housing Next, said in a release. “This revolving loan fund marks a turning point in our collective efforts to ensure that housing remains an accessible and attainable reality for all residents, regardless of their income or background.”
Kent County said the Affordable Housing Loan Fund will officially launch soon.
— News 8’s Madalyn Buursma contributed to this report.