What does the Community Development Department do?
The Community Development Department works with other organizations in the community to build strong City neighborhoods. The Department does this by supporting housing and community development activities through the Neighborhood Investment Plan. Click here for a list of the Department staff.
What is the Neighborhood Investment Plan?
The Neighborhood Investment Plan is the grant funding plan for the City's housing and community development programs. The Community Development Department funds about $8 million per year in housing and community development programs and services from several grant sources. The programs and services that are funded carry out the objectives, which achieve the goals of the Plan.
Is it true I can get a home for a dollar?
No. The City occassionally has a few houses for sale, but they are sold through a bidding process. Please contact the City's Real Estate Division at 456-3197 to see if any homes are available and to find out how the bidding process works. If you are looking for down payment assistance or a low-interest mortgage, a number of financing options are available. There may also be homes for sale through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
My landlord is threatening to evict me. Is there someone I can talk to?
Yes. Legal Aid of Western Michigan is the place to start. They can assist if you are facing an eviction or foreclosure by helping you understand what your rights and responsibilities are or by representing you in court. Call 774-0672 for further information.
You can also call the Landlord/Tenants program at the Grand Rapids Urban League. They provide counseling on a number of housing problems. In some cases, they may have funds to assist you in staying in your unit or moving to another apartment. Call 245-2207 for an appointment with a housing counselor, or stop by the Urban League at 745 Eastern Avenue SE.
How do I find out about the Housing Choice Voucher (formerly Section 8) Program?
The Grand Rapids Housing Commission has Housing Choice Vouchers that provide monthly rental subsidies for people who cannot afford market rate rents. Under this program, people with vouchers select their own apartment or house and sign an approved one-year lease with the landlord. The full rent is paid to the landlord in two parts - one part from the tenant and the other from the Housing Commission. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is very popular and generally has a long waiting list. The waiting list is often closed to new applicants, so call first: 235-2600.
Where can I apply for public housing?
The Grand Rapids Housing Commission owns several apartment buildings that charge affordable rents. Some of the buildings are for families and some are for seniors and people with disabilities. For more information and an application, call 235-2600. If you would rather stop in, their office is located at 1420 Fuller Avenue SE.
What is the name and phone number of my Neighborhood Association?
The Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University maintains a list and map of Neighborhood Associations throughout the City of Grand Rapids. Click on Neighborhood Associations at the left to go to that web site.
I want to complain about the poor condition of a house in my neighborhood. How do I do that?
The Code Compliance Division is the place to contact. You can call 456-3053 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to register a complaint. The Code Compliance Division takes complaints on a variety of conditions and nuisances such as housing code violations, tall grass/weeds, trash in a yard, abandoned vehicles, and zoning violations.
How do I find out who owns a property?
The easiest way to find out who owns a property is through the City Assessor's Office. You can get the name and address of the last owner on record by either looking on-line in the Property Tax and Assessment records, or calling the Assessor's Office at 456-3081. (If the property is a vacant lot without an address, get the addresses on both sides of the lot before you call.)
If you have an interest in purchasing a property that is City-owned, you can contact the City's Economic Development Office at 456-3197 for information. Please be prepared to provide the address and parcel number of the property when calling. Information pertaining to the purchase of City owned property is also available on the Economic Development Department's web site.