Detroit boosts neighborhoods with no-interest loans for home repair


WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — LISC and Bank of America have teamed up with the city of Detroit on an innovative program to help low-income residents repair their homes and improve their neighborhoods. True to its name, the 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program provides no-cost capital to borrowers who because of market conditions find it nearly impossible to get traditional financing. The program taps a dozen local nonprofits to coordinate with homeowners, leveraging the expertise of people who know their neighborhoods best. “This program is all about Detroit’s communities—providing new capital to the people who are the backbone of the city,” noted LISC’s Denise Scott.

DETROIT— Mayor Mike Duggan joined city, community and nonprofit partners to unveil the Detroit 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program, which will provide $8 million in financing for eligible homeowners looking to patch roofs, replace windows, upgrade plumbing and address structural or safety issues.

The program is a city-led partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) and Bank of America. It is designed to help homeowners fix deteriorating properties and help eliminate blight—all while laying a foundation for renewed private investment in areas struggling to attract capital. It’s a focused public-private commitment to Detroit’s neighborhoods.

The program targets Detroit homeowners earning up to 80 percent of the area median income ($54,150 for a family of four), as well as households in targeted parts of the city, regardless of their income. It helps fill a growing market gap—owners who want to invest in their homes but can’t get affordable traditional financing because property values have eroded their ability to borrow.

“We worked very closely with HUD and our other partners to make sure these loans are accessible to as many Detroiters as possible,” said Mayor Duggan, who added, “establishing this loan fund will generate a wave of home improvement work across the city that will raise property values and strengthen neighborhoods.”

Funding for the program comes from $4 million of Community Development Block Grant funds from HUD, as well as $4 million from Bank of America. LISC will use the funding to provide loans to qualified homeowners. Borrowers will pay no interest on their loans—the partners will absorb most of the costs to operate the program—but they must pay back the principal. That helps homeowners improve their credit history as they improve their homes, while also building a track record of loan performance that will encourage others to lend and invest in these communities.

“Our support of the Detroit 0% Interest Home Repair Loans Program in partnership with the City of Detroit and LISC is yet another demonstration of our commitment to aligning our resources to help revitalize Detroit, and more specifically its neighborhoods,” said Matt Elliott, Michigan Market President, Bank of America. “We see this partnership as a way to support homeowners with resources that will improve their lives and be instrumental in sustaining the economic vitality of our city.”

“The impact of this program will go well beyond the walls of the houses it helps repair,” said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. “We are building a case for investing in homes, businesses, schools and parks in Detroit neighborhoods—even in places that might appear too risky for conventional financing models. And we’re doing it while lifting property values for hardworking families that are committed to Detroit’s future.”

The program taps highly regarded local nonprofits to help with outreach. Bridging Communities, Central Detroit Christian CDC, Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, Detroit Non-Profit Housing Corp., Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Jefferson East, Inc., New Hope Community Development, Operation ABLE, SER Metro Detroit, Southwest Economic Solutions, U SNAP BAC, and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency each serve as Intake Centers, helping homeowners complete the intake forms and start the loan application process.

“This is an exciting opportunity for LISC to work in partnership with the Mayor to bring new resources to the hardworking and proud residents of Detroit,” said Tahirih Zeigler, executive director of LISC’s Detroit program, which over the last 25 years has invested $187 million in Detroit neighborhoods. “With the 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program, homeowners can reinvest in their homes and play an active role in revitalizing the city. The use of long-standing local partners as intake centers allows homeowners to work with organizations they are already familiar with. This new product for financing home repair will support existing residents to stabilize their neighborhoods and make Detroit more attractive to new residents and businesses.”

The City has scheduled five information sessions to help Detroit homeowners learn more about the application process. Homeowners can pick up applications, talk to City staff, and set application review appointments with Intake Centers.

Tuesday, March 24th
6:00pm to 7:00pm
Samaritan Center, Ford Wellness Center Gymnasium
5555 Conner – Detroit, MI 48214

Thursday, March 26th
6:00pm to 7:00pm
NW Activity Center Ballroom
18100 Meyers – Detroit, MI 48221

Thursday, March 26th
6:00pm to 7:00pm
Patton Park Recreation Center
2300 Woodmere – Detroit, MI 48209

Saturday, March 28th
11:00am to 12:00pm
Don Bosco Hall
19321 W. Chicago – Detroit, MI 48228

Saturday, March 28th
11:00am to 12:00pm
Heilmann Recreation Center
19601 Crusade – Detroit, MI 48205
Near E. State Fair and Hayes

About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.

About LISC

LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods across the country. Since 1980, LISC has invested $14.7 billion to build or rehab 330,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 53 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit

John Roach
(313) 224-4523 or

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