Grant-funded ‘Green’ houses ready for families

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE – City officials and partners with the Michigan Suburbs Alliance invite qualifying residents to own one of one of three eco-friendly houses made available through the Green Anchors program.

Renovations recently were completed for three houses in the city, upgrades made possibly by the Alliance’s Neighborhood
Stabilization Program, which rehabs houses owned by banks for ownership by low-income families.

When the effort was launched in October 2013, Mayor Joseph Kuspa said Southgate was among the cities chosen for the pilot program.

The city had applied for and won a grant that paired local efforts with the Michigan Suburbs Alliance and Meadowlark Builders, which supervised rehabilitation work to houses in the 13000 block of Rosedale, the 13000 block of Ward and 12000 block of Brest streets.

Prices vary between $63,000 and $84,000
The project was designed to make the houses affordable for young families, both through modest cost and low-interest loans and with upgrades to make the furnishings energy efficient.

Contractors installed an upgraded furnace, thermostat, insulation and a tankless water heater, among other improvements that save an estimated $700 to $900 on monthly bills.

Jennifer Young, Energy Programs manager for Michigan Suburbs Alliance, said the rehab efforts were made possible by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist low-income residents.

Up to $7,500 in down-payment assistance is available.

Qualifying homeowners must earn 50 percent or less of the area median income: $22,625 for a one-person household up to $32,313 for a four-person household.

Communications Director Hayley Roberts said most of the work on the houses had been completed by May, and the Alliance is ready to accept applications through real estate agent Jerry Miller of Downriver Real Estate.

Prospective homeowners are asked to contact Miller at 734-284-8888 for further information.

(James Mitchell can be reached at