As the housing market in Grand Rapids tightens, property values are steadily rising. While this trend is a benefit to many homeowners, it has created a crisis for many renters with lower incomes. Rent prices have skyrocketed, increasing by more than 50 percent since 2011. Displacement is a matter of increasing concern.
Groups of volunteers from around the city, including some Calvin students, have joined ICCF in its effort to address the issue. The Community Housing Initiative was launched in 2018 to provide housing stability in vulnerable areas, where housing is becoming unaffordable for families with lower incomes. The organization carefully chooses properties to act as “anchors” in these areas and refurbishes them to be sold or rented at lower rates.
So far, the ICCF has purchased 213 housing units on 177 properties in Grand Rapids. Because it does not have the resources to renovate all 213 units itself, the foundation is asking local churches to partner with it in caring for their neighbors by choosing a house to “adopt.”