(The Center Square) – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, state Rep. Joey Andrews, D-St. Joseph, and various representatives for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority awarded the Berrien County Land Bank a $300,000 grant.
The grant, funded by the American Rescue Plan and leftover Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, will pay for energy-efficiency home repairs and upgrades to eligible homeowners within Berrien County. The grant is a part of MSHDA’s Michigan Housing Opportunities Promoting Energy-efficiency plan, which funds roof and HVAC system repairs or replacements across the state.
“Making homes more affordable and more energy efficient are two of the ways we’re lowering costs for Michiganders,” Andrews said. “I’m proud to help announce this grant, and I want to thank not only Gov. Whitmer for her commitment to affordable housing, but also to the Berrien County Land Bank for its role in bringing these critical improvements to fruition.”
Whitmer endorsed the MI-HOPE program in conjunction with her MI Healthy Climate Plan.
“Every Michigander deserves a safe, affordable place to call home,” Whitmer said. “Today’s MI-HOPE grant will help Michiganders in Berrien County make much-needed home improvements, lower their utility bills, and make their homes more comfortable and efficient.”
The Berrien County grant supports the Southwest Housing Partnership goal to increase housing preservation and restoration funding by 10% throughout the region. About half of Michigan homes were built before 1970, meaning many now need energy or roofing repairs.
“We are moving quickly with solutions like MI-HOPE, which helps homeowners repair and upgrade older homes to make them more efficient, saving them money,” said MSHDA CEO and Executive Director Amy Hovey. “But we can’t do it alone. We’re grateful to the Berrien County Land Bank for distributing these grant funds to local homeowners for their new windows, doors, insulation and more.”
In addition to Berrien County, $15 million was awarded to Detroit, as well as $5 million for The Heat and Warmth Fund.