Increasing homeownership and rebuilding neighborhoods

Mother son

In 2015, CRF led the development of an innovative new program to make Detroit home buying easier, collaborating with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the Obama Administration’s Detroit Federal Working Group, Clinton Global Initiative, local banks, foundations and non-profits.

The result, Detroit Home Mortgage, is helping solve Detroit’s appraisal gap problem. Previously, federal lending guidelines did not clearly allow banks to loan borrowers enough money to cover necessary repairs because the loan amount was limited to the low, appraised value of a house. Many potential homebuyers have good credit scores and stable incomes, but could not get a large enough mortgage because the appraiser could not find a similar home nearby with a comparable sales price. Houses across Detroit remain inexpensive to purchase relative to homes just outside the city limits, but the lack of financing forced many families either to pay cash or to rent instead of building equity and investing in their futures. Some homebuyers use expensive credit card debt to pay for renovations, or do the renovations piecemeal over several years.

Mayor Duggan called it “a game-changer for Detroit.” CRF is in the process of scaling the program to other communities. Visit the Detroit Home Mortgage website.