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Grand Rapids receives $4.6M to help combat homelessness

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Posted at 9:46 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 09:46:04-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids city commissioners accepted on Tuesday a $4.63 million grant for homelessness assistance and supportive services.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development HOME Investment Partnerships – American Rescue Plan funds are directed for helping the unhoused, those at risk of being unhoused and other vulnerable populations, a news release said Wednesday.

Funded activities need to benefit qualifying individuals and families and may include projects like:

  • Development and support of affordable housing 
  • Tenant-based rental assistance 
  • Supportive services 
  • Acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter units 

Before the city can obtain the funding, Grand Rapids must first develop a HOME-ARP allocation plan in consultation with agencies whose clientele includes qualifying populations, according to Connie Bohatch, managing director of community services.

This will include the Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness, which serves as the local Continuum of Care; homeless and domestic violence service providers and other agencies that serve the eligible population.

City officials plan to have a draft plan completed in December.

In January, they’ll invite the public to review the draft and provide feedback at a public hearing and written comments during a 15-day period.

Once finalized, the allocation plan will be submitted to federal officials as an amendment to the city’s Housing and Community Development Action Plan.

“We are grateful for this funding that will ultimately benefit our unhoused residents and vulnerable populations,” Bohatch said. “It is important that we work with our partners to determine the best and most effective use of these HOME-ARP dollars. The plan will serve as the framework for inviting project applications and making strategic investments to best serve our community.”

HOME-ARP supplemental funding is allocated by formula under the HOME entitlement program.

Grand Rapids’ award is about three times the size of the city’s annual grant award, which for fiscal year 2021 is about $1.2 million.