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ICCF is grateful for the role that local and national foundations have played in providing a viable financial base for ICCF’s housing programs.

Helping to improve our community one family at a time, one house at a time, one neighborhood at a time.

Collaboration
We want to ensure that the community’s needs for safe, affordable housing are being met.  It is a job too big for any one agency and requires the cooperation of many local organizations.  ICCF also recognizes that housing needs are often interwoven with other needs such as clothing, food, medicine, transportation or counseling support. ICCF collaborates with a variety of community partners to achieve a holistic approach to helping local families. 

Neighborhood Revitalization
By clustering new homes and educating new homeowners, ICCF offers hope to families and transforms neighborhoods to safe and vibrant communities.  In two neighborhoods where ICCF built multiple homes, the crime rate dropped dramatically.

Revitalization is dependent on several factors.  One is the preparation and education of prospective homeowners.  ICCF has an extensive home ownership program that includes an introductory class, mortgage readiness assessment, six home maintenance and six home management classes, eight financial management classes and individual counseling for credit repair or other financial challenges. 

A second factor is the quality of the homes that are constructed or renovated.  ICCF homes are built to meet Energy Star standards, utilize quality materials and blend with the architecture of nearby homes so homeowners are not labeled low-income.  ICCF homes are landscaped attractively and are an asset to any neighborhood in which they are located.

A third factor is preparation in the neighborhood.  This takes different forms.  We have a series of classes called “Healthy Neighborhoods” for prospective homeowners and for other residents in the neighborhood.  Representatives from the local neighborhood association, the police and fire departments are invited to come and speak.  Residents are encouraged to keep an eye on one another’s homes and to report any unusual activity.  When neighbors watch out for the children and each other, it makes for a safer community.  When vacant lots or homes are replaced with homeowners, the increased tax base helps provide better infrastructure as well.

Sustainability
ICCF continually strives to diversify its funding resources so it can maintain financial stability. By creatively integrating our sources of private philanthropy with contractual support from all levels of government, program fees, and proceeds from benefit events, ICCF has been able to sustain its services in this challenging economy.

What Makes ICCF Unique?

  1. ICCF pairs all its housing opportunities with education to equip a homeowner to be successful.  ICCF requires prospective homeowners to invest education equity rather than sweat equity in their homes.

  2. ICCF offers a full range of housing opportunities:  emergency housing, affordable rental housing, home ownership opportunities and can serve families with income ranging from no income to 120% of the area median income with various programs.  Our rental programs guidelines are 50% and 60% of area median income. Each program has different limits and some of our services have no upper income limit.

  3. ICCF is a licensed builder, enabling it to have control over the construction schedule and construction quality of the homes it offers.

  4. ICCF is a regional coordinating organization for the state of Michigan Individual Development Account (MIDAP) program.

  5. ICCF emphasizes green building - ICCF is usually a step ahead of the curve. We built homes to Energy Star standards long before it was required and before other housing agencies did. We recognize that affordability is more than the cost to purchase a house. Long-term affordability depends on efficient utilities and proper maintenance.  In new ICCF homes, the average annual cost for all utilities combined is $800 a year.

  6. ICCF was the first local contractor to close on the purchase of Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) homes – a federal program for the purchase, renovation, and remarketing of foreclosed homes – in both the City of Grand Rapids and Kent County.




 
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