GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Noor's Heaven of West Michigan is an Arab and Muslim humanitarian agency that helps in several areas including housing.
“All the refugees come and have faith in us. And we will never fail them.” Said Wafa Haddad, founder, and CEO of Noor’s Heaven of West Michigan. “Housing assisting for not just refugee, all the residents and community here who speak Arabic, so mostly Arab and Muslim refugees, residents, newcomers and new immigrants.”
But lately the nationwide housing crisis has made the task challenging
“The high rate and higher rent and the tenants are cannot afford it anymore.” Haddad explained.
She adds, many Muslim and Arab families have up to five or six people in their household.
“So we needed bigger apartments or townhouses or house or you know, bigger bigger places.” Said Haddad. “They have a hope they are working toward moving forward with someone to help THEM to find another place or another hope that let's do another route to house you. But they are you know stunned.”
This means even more money on top of the already high prices discouraging many families in need of housing.
Families are also faced with even longer wait lines for housing assistance programs like section eight. Much different than years past
“So it used to be easy like I remember on 2014 When the section it opened took us maybe three-six months. We have many of them approved for it. Many of them got into their homes after that it's yours.” Haddad said.
With the current trend, Noor’s Heaven of West Michigan claims it could now take at least a year. Haddad says in the meantime, families have been staying with relatives or friends until something is available and affordable.
“I have families stay in their parents’ house and live four of them or five of them in one bedroom. Because they cannot afford it, they cannot find another place where they can accept it.”
But Noor's heaven remains hard at work to bring families relief during this difficult season — which they hope will pass soon
“We will keep doing it. Find the solutions, find a way compromising and see what we can do to secure people in homes.” Said Haddad.