Grand Rapids leaders are hoping to increase the city’s affordable and low-income housing stock with vacant properties.

At their Tuesday night meeting, city commissioners unanimously approved vacant property sale criteria that favors lower-income housing projects on the properties.

Under the approved sale guidelines, the city’s stock of about 67 vacant properties are available for sale through the State Land Bank Authority to a handful of area nonprofits if the organizations can do one or more of the following:

  • Rehabilitate the property for 80% area median income homeownership;
  • Rehabilitate the property for 60% area median income rental;
  • Place the property into a Community Land Trust; or
  • Rehabilitate the property for emergency or transitional housing under an organization’s existing program

Nonprofits are required to demonstrate to the city the viability of undertaking any of these options before a property is approved for sale. Any projects outside of these sales parameters need city commission approval.

The nonprofits able to purchase vacant property under the agreement are: Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Inner City Christian Federation, LINC Up, Next Step of West Michigan, Wellhouse, Dwelling Place, New Development Corporation, Genesis Non-profit Housing Corporation and 3:11 Youth Housing.

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