Mercantile Bank grants $1M in Neighborhood Impact Program funds

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Sonali Allen. Courtesy Mercantile Bank

Mercantile Bank provided $1 million in Neighborhood Impact Program (NIP) grants to city of Grand Rapids residents for home maintenance and repairs.

The bank said Tuesday, Oct. 5, it allocated the NIP grants to homeowners in partnership with the city of Grand Rapids and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. The NIP is a grant program to assist low- to moderate-income homeowners in making interior and exterior home improvements and repairs, including energy-efficiency upgrades, with the goal of enhancing the condition and stability of neighborhoods.

“As a local community bank based in Grand Rapids, it’s important to us to help homeowners afford the costs associated with home improvements that have a positive impact on neighborhoods,” said Sonali Allen, community development officer and senior vice president of Mercantile Bank. “These grants not only help to improve and maintain the supply of affordable housing, but they help individuals, families and neighborhoods continue to thrive.”

Since they formed partnership in 2009, Mercantile Bank has provided more than 100 grants up to $7,500 each, and the city of Grand Rapids has provided loans totaling nearly $1.8 million for these same projects. The grants and 50% of the loans are forgiven after five years and have benefited many Grand Rapids residents and neighborhoods.

Connie Bohatch. Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

“We value our long-standing partnership with Mercantile Bank,” said Connie Bohatch, managing director of community services for the city of Grand Rapids. “Access to NIP grants is an important tool in leveraging the city’s limited home improvement program funds. Together, we can have a greater impact, ensuring more homes are healthy and safe while preserving quality housing in our neighborhoods.”

More information about Mercantile Bank’s affordable housing programs is at mercbank.com/mortgage, and more about Grand Rapids’ community development programs is at mercbank.com/mortgage.

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