The Flint HIF (Home Improvement Fund) has released updated information on the progress of the program.
Home renovation projects underway through the Flint Home Improvement Fund
The Flint Home Improvement Fund, launched in February 2021, generated a lot of interest among Flint residents. More than 200 applications have been submitted. A total of 14 home improvement projects are currently underway in eight of the city’s nine wards, and four projects are complete. Another six projects will be underway shortly.
The Flint HIF is a citywide home repair program managed by Genesee County Habitat for Humanity to help Flint homeowners repair, improve and renovate their homes through low- or no-interest loans. So far, projects have included: new roofing, gutters, windows and garage doors; porch rebuilds; kitchen cabinets and countertops; bathroom remodeling; drywall work; and central air conditioning repairs.
The Mott Foundation granted a total of $661,878 to Genesee County Habitat for Humanity to provide funding for no-interest home repair loans for low-income Flint residents and to support Habitat’s management of the program. An initial $500,000 grant was awarded, followed by a $161,878 grant increase as part of the Focus on Flint initiative.
Many of the applications are still being reviewed, and new applications are not being accepted at this time. If you have questions, visit flint-hif.org or call Habitat at 810-766-9089, ext. 214.
Flint HIF asks that if you have participated in the Flint HIF and want to share your story, please reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flint residents of all income levels can now apply for low- or no-interest loans of up to $20,000 to make repairs or improvements to their homes.
Currently applications are not being accepted however there are flyers explaining the program and requirements needed to apply (in the future) available to pick up at the Habitat Restore at 101 Burton St. in Flint from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Loans through the Flint HIF can be used for a variety of repair and improvement projects, including but not limited to furnace and hot water heater replacement, roof replacement or repairs, kitchen and bath upgrades, deck and porch replacement, and new siding.
To be eligible, applicants must own and occupy a single-family home in the city of Flint as their primary residence. Funding is available for homeowners of all income levels and is not contingent upon the assessed value of a home.
In addition, homeowners may not have to pay back the entire amount borrowed. The amount to be paid back will be determined on a sliding scale based on household income.
“This is a golden opportunity for residents to be able to make home improvements at a fraction of the cost,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “The Flint Home Improvement Fund is a groundbreaking partnership that I am so proud is being launched in our city to help families, neighborhoods and the overall community.”
After Flint homeowners apply to the Flint HIF, Genesee County Habitat for Humanity will work with them to see which funding applies to their income level and situation, as well as to answer questions.
“With sliding scale repayment options on these low- to no-interest loans, there is no reason not to apply. Even if you don’t qualify now, we will work to find a way to put you in a position where you can access these or other funds to repair your home,” said Thomas Hutchison, executive director of Genesee County Habitat for Humanity.
The fund draws funds from a pool of resources. The Mott Foundation granted $661,878 to provide funding for no-interest home repair loans for low-income Flint residents and to support Habitat’s management of the program.
In addition, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) contributed $500,000 from its Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, which will be used to help homeowners with low to moderate incomes make improvements and repairs.
Community Foundation of Greater Flint granted $15,000 in funding for staff support to facilitate the loan program. In addition, Huntington National Bank will provide low-interest, unsecured home improvement loans for all income- and credit-qualifying borrowers.
Partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors have come together to create and promote the Flint HIF, which will be managed by Genesee County Habitat for Humanity. Other partners include the City of Flint, Genesee County Land Bank Authority, and the Neighborhood Engagement Hub.
“This is a monumental step toward creating a system where all homeowners in the city of Flint can access funds to improve their homes,” Hutchinson said. By helping residents access capital to improve their homes with flexible and affordable repayment options, the Flint Home Improvement Fund strives to create strong neighborhoods where residents can maintain their homes while avoiding burdensome debt.”
It’s an approach MSHDA hopes will extend beyond Flint.
“This collaboration fits our guiding principle of engaging partners in creating innovative, sustainable housing solutions,” said Gary Heidel, acting executive director at MSHDA. “We’re glad to pilot the program in Flint with such strong partners and hope to replicate it in communities across the state.”
“Homeownership is a powerful tool to help people improve their lives and build wealth. That’s why we’re proud to support the Flint Home Improvement Fund and work with outstanding partners to empower residents and build stronger communities,” commented Greg Viener, president of Huntington’s Mid-Michigan region. “We look forward to seeing what homeowners will accomplish with more access to affordable options to repair or improve their homes.”
To support even more homeowners, Flint HIF partners are looking to bring additional resources to the fund. “This is an exciting partnership that will remove the barriers many residents have faced in making repairs and improvements to their homes,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “And that positive change will add up, home by home, to help strengthen neighborhoods across the city.”
To learn more, visit Flint-HIF.org or call 810-766-9089 ext. 214.
EVM reporter Melodee Mabbitt contributed to this article.