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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

City of Grand Rapids will launch rental assistance program

In a city where the vacancy rate sits at around 5.1 percent, according to data from the U.S. Census, low-income residents are faced with additional barriers when looking for housing. 

“Being charged money for rental just to get into people’s waiting list, and then when they were able to get up on the list and they were denied they weren’t being told why.” 

That is Carlos Sanchez, the executive director of the Grand Rapids Housing Commission. He says to ease the burden of residents the city city will fund a rental assistance center. 

“We’ll have a central point, where we can take the application, do the credit reports and find out why people are not getting selected and if they do have impediments we are going to set up a system to be able to refer them.”

The rental assistance program is expected to begin in about two months, and will be another way for the City to gather data on what is preventing some residents from attaining affordable housing. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News

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