Metro Community Development fights homelessness and housing affordability crises

By Madeleine Graham

Metro Community Development (MCD) is kicking off its monthly business workshops this week, hosting the first event at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21. According to Facebook, Metro Community Development will partner with John L Financial Services to help facilitate the events. The event is available to the community on Facebook Live. More information on the workshops is available on the MCD website.

Brian Glowiak, CEO of Metro Community Development, said the nonprofit, whose mission is to address issues of homelessness and affordable housing, operates in a tough times homeownership environment. and roaming.

Nonetheless, even during the pandemic, the agency continued to provide housing assistance to thousands of residents in the region.

In recent years, according to Glowiak, Metro Community Development has provided nearly $ 1 million in free funds to local homeowners to provide new roofs, windows and doors, siding, water heaters and other repairs.

“This year, the price was equivalent to a maximum of $ 7,500 per household,” according to Glowiak. Free funds were also provided to improve accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities by providing ramps and bathroom and kitchen modifications up to $ 10,000 per household.

Many obstacles stand in the way of homeownership

Many barriers affect homeownership, Glowiak explained, including lack of availability of down payment, low credit scores, and excessive debt-to-income ratios for the availability of mortgages.

Other hurdles include “low valuations in home appraisals that fail to support the loan-to-value ratio required by a lender,” he said. mentionned. Ultimately, low valuations lead to a lack of comparable home sales values. While ultimately, due to a lack of affordable housing stock, barriers are present in the home buying process for many first-time homebuyers, Glowiak added.

In addition, there are barriers to affordable rental housing faced by low-income individuals and families as the demand for low-income housing continues to outstrip supply.

“A recent market study for the Flint area predicted an immediate need for 390 affordable rental units in the city, with just over 100 units in development,” Glowiak noted.

According to its website, Metro served 2,836 customers in 2019 and 2020, with an annual budget of over $ 2 million. The main sources of funding are the “US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and Genesee County,” Glowiak said. . Local nonprofits also contribute funding, including United Way of Genesee County and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Photo source: Metropolitan Community Development

Regarding the budget allocation and the agencies that share that funding, “Metro Community Development is the lead agency for the Genesee County Continuum of Care, a federally mandated agency of homeless service providers,” said Glowiak explained.

Metro Community Development acts as a trustee and regulates the annual budget of $ 2 million. “However, additional funds are also being provided by government agencies directly to local shelters and service agencies,” Glowiak said.

How to qualify for MCD services

So how do you qualify for the services?

Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties is the Housing Assessment Resource Agency (HARA) in Genesee County, which provides comprehensive housing placement services for people who are homeless or have special needs in the county. from Genesee. (Phone: 810-600-4525). Metro also operates a homeless helpline (810-544-4357) to help homeless individuals and families (to) connect with homeless resources, ”Glowiak said.

Flint’s east side EVM archive photo. (Photo by Tom Travis)

Metro Community Development also acquired ownership of 30 units of the Carriage Town Square apartment complex, as part of a partnership with PK Housing from the original non-profit developer in 2020. “The acquisition was a transfer of property subject to assumption of all existing debts. and obligations ”, and the rent is based on income. “The apartments are subject to an existing low income regime

Housing tax credit and allocation are made available to individuals and families whose household incomes are less than 60% of the area’s median income (AMI).

“Metro Housing Partnership is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Metro Community Development and serves as a real estate division by holding title to commercial and rental properties.” Glowiak said.

In partnership with Consumers Energy, “The Back @ Home program was created to increase access to safe and affordable housing in Flint through a program to acquire and rehabilitate single-family homes and homes. This program involves buying and rehabilitating dilapidated and / or abandoned homes for resale to first-time first-time home buyers.

MCD opens capital to women-owned, minority and veteran-owned businesses

Metro Community Development is a community development finance institution (CDFI) and, as such, “represents private financial institutions licensed by the US Treasury committed to providing responsible and affordable loans to help low-income, low-income people. and unbanked or underbanked join the mainstream economy.

As CDFI, “Metro Community Development serves the community by providing access to capital through non-traditional lending services and providing technical assistance to start-ups and existing small businesses. He noted that 25 percent of the loans went to women-owned businesses. Metro Community Development also provides credit counseling, education training for homebuyers, and low-value consumer loans to individuals and families. The majority of our clients are businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. ”

Metro Community Development funded several additional projects. “I am very proud of the services we provide to the communities of Flint and Genesee Counties and would like to highlight one specific program: the Free Home Renovation Grants we provide to income owners,” said Glowiak.

Normally, the grant program runs from March to June each year, “and although program funds are fully depleted for 2021, we encourage homeowners to contact us in early 2022 to confirm their eligibility,” Glowiak said. .

After pandemic delay, MCD opens new office

Metro Community Development had a delayed opening at Robert T. Longway due to the pandemic. “For more than two decades, our employees were physically separated in several rented offices and we were eager to operate silo-free in a newly renovated and attractive office building.” Not that long ago, “a majority of employees have rehired and are now working together in our new offices,” said Glowiak.

Glowiak’s experience includes innovation, training

Glowiak comes to Metro Community Development with quite extensive experience. He worked for Chrysler Corporation, Daimler Chrysler and FCA for more than three decades in various management positions. Under his leadership, Glowiak has donated over $ 220 million in charitable prizes and corporate sponsorships to local, national and international nonprofit organizations according to his executive biography.

Glowiak is also a lawyer who has served as a tax lawyer and corporate lobbyist. It should be noted that in addition to all of his accomplishments at Chrysler, he has secured over $ 1.3 billion in economic development incentives for new investment and expansion projects.

Innovation, seems to be what Glowiak enjoys doing as he has developed and expanded an innovative skills training program that connects local manufacturers with school districts to provide high school students with access to equipment and training for acquire the knowledge necessary to obtain certifications to achieve and excel. in advanced manufacturing careers while a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) where he served as Vice President.

Glowiak joined Metro Community Development in 2019 and became its CEO.

Metro Community Development is located at 1174 Robert T. Longway, Flint Michigan 48503. For more information visit the MCD website Development of the metropolitan community.

GEV Editor-in-Chief Madeleine Graham can be reached at madeleine4841@gmail.com.

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