Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Real Estate

Nonprofit buying 177 properties for affordable housing

June 26, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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The Inner City Christian Federation is a nonprofit that provides affordable housing services that "encourage family responsibility and independence." Photo via

A Grand Rapids affordable housing nonprofit is under contract to buy 177 properties.

Inner City Christian Federation, or ICCF, said today it is buying the single-family home properties in the Grand Rapids and Lansing areas from an unnamed Chicago-based investment group.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase would provide more opportunities for affordable rental and homeownership options, according to ICCF CEO Ryan VerWys. ICCF would collaborate with local nonprofits and churches to offer the options.

The current residential real estate market in West Michigan is driving up housing costs and making some neighborhoods unaffordable for families who have called them home for generations, VerWys said.

“West Michigan is thriving in so many ways, but our super-charged housing market is driving up prices and rents at alarming rates,” VerWys said. “These dramatic increases are creating a housing crisis for those of us living on the margins.”

The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks, as ICCF continues to evaluate the properties and secure financing from commercial and philanthropic partners.

“We are happy for a thriving economy and a healthy housing market in our community,” VerWys said. “We’re also very grateful for this opportunity to work together as a community to provide affordable housing options for individuals and families whose incomes have not increased with their rising monthly rents.”

ICCF has produced more than 500 “affordable owner-occupied” homes during its 44-year history, along with 168 rental units.

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