Fifty homeowners in SE Grand Rapids make critical repairs to their homes with funds from new nonprofit collaboration

Fifty homeowners in SE Grand Rapids make critical repairs to their homes with funds from new nonprofit collaboration

The Neighborhood Strong program has provided homeowners with more than $300,000 for home repairs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 7, 2019) – Homeowners in the Cottage Grove, Boston Square and Madison Square neighborhoods of Southeast Grand Rapids are now able to make critically important repairs to their homes at a fraction of the total cost, thanks to support from a new nonprofit collaboration called Neighborhood Strong. Launched April 2018, the partnership between Home Repair Services and Amplify GR has provided more than $300,000 to 50 homeowners from the area.

Funding for home repairs is dependent on income and grants provided with a 15-25% copay by homeowners. Residents can receive up to $8,000 for home repairs, including, but not limited to, updating heating and cooling systems, repairing roofs, and installing handicap-accessible entrances.
“Neighborhood Strong is a program created by residents for residents, with the intent to keep homeowners in their homes,” said Amplify GR Community Engagement Director Willie Patterson. “We are committed to building partnerships within the 49507 ZIP code that combat the ever-rising cost of homeownership. To that end, we are grateful for Home Repair Services dedication to this initiative, as we recognize that part of making a community stronger begins with improvements within the home.”

“Home Repair Services and Amplify GR have been such a blessing to my family, and I hope they continue to work together to help people like they did for me,” said Oakdale resident Santos Rivera, who received funding assistance with a furnace. “Both organizations are great resources for our neighborhood, and I hope the Neighborhood Strong program never stops.”

Funded by Amplify GR, the grant is a resource for all families in the area and helps guide recipients through the process of obtaining quotes, gathering necessary documentation and potentially connecting with additional neighborhood resources. Those interested can apply by reaching out to the program’s housing specialist from Home Repair Services, who is also a resident of the area.

“Our mission of strengthening homeowners with the resources needed to not only stay in homes, but to flourish, aligned perfectly with that of Amplify GR,” said Joel Ruiter of Home Repair Services. “We know that neighborhoods where confident, invested homeowners exist are vibrant communities. Through Neighborhood Strong, we’re further delivering on that vision. Watching Neighborhood Strong come together with the help and creativity of the neighbors was an incredible privilege for us.”

In reflecting on the program’s first year success, Deborah Armstrong of Home Repair Services said: “It’s been an absolute joy to meet these homeowners and work together to make their homes safer. Many of them have long histories in the neighborhood, and I feel with each improvement, Neighborhood Strong is honoring their commitment and contributions.”

To learn more about the homeowners grant, visit

About Amplify GR

Amplify GR seeks to widen pathways so that more residents can participate and benefit from neighborhood growth in the Boston Square, Cottage Grove and the surrounding areas. Through partnerships with residents, businesses, community organizations and funders, Amplify GR works in four areas of impact: jobs and entrepreneurship, housing, education and community wellbeing.

About Home Repair Services

Home Repair Services is a unique non-profit organization that is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019. Its mission is to strengthen vulnerable Kent County homeowners because strong homeowners build strong communities. It carries out its mission by offering a repair program for lower income homeowners that ensures a dignified pathway for critical health and safety repairs including access modifications exists in our community.

Home Repair Services also offers a robust series of self-help programs that are designed to equip and empower people to improve their own homes. From hands-on skill training and remodeling support to home inspections to financial coaching and foreclosure prevention, these programs are free and open to residents regardless of their income.

Elise Pelletier