Lighthouse Communities, Inc.
Lighthouse Communities is a nonprofit development corporation based in southeastern Grand Rapids that focuses on providing affordable housing “for the purpose of stimulating community revitalization.” Lighthouse’s revitalization efforts are targeted to a geographic area known as Southtown, which comprises a population of 20,000 and four neighborhood commercial districts. Since its inception in 2000, Lighthouse has led major housing, commercial and neighborhood enhancement projects, including more than 400 housing units and over $30 million in development.
Lighthouse currently has 14 staff and manages 5 program areas and a $6 million annual budget. Our programmatic areas are: rental, homeownership, Lead Hazard Reduction/Control Program, Neighborhood Housing Fund (NHF), and the Southtown Revitalization Plan.
Providing quality affordable housing is but one of the Lighthouse’s tools to promote neighborhood revitalization. Our housing program is multifaceted. It encompasses homeownership and rental opportunities, homeowner education, home renovations, lending, and small neighborhood beautification projects. Currently, Lighthouse oversees 33 rental units, completes 20 Neighborhood Housing Fund loans a year, and renovates over 100 units through the Lead program.
During the current fiscal year, we expect to complete about $12 million in commercial and housing development, which will add approximately 300 of renovated and brand new homes to the existing housing stock in the neighborhood. We are also getting ready to launch our fourth affordable mixed-use development on the south side of Grand Rapids.