DETROIT, May 18, 2023 – The City of Detroit, Gilbert Family Foundation, and CHN Housing Partners have teamed up to transform how Detroiters access housing resources and services, anchored by a new centralized City hotline and a $10 million investment from the Gilbert Family Foundation.
Today, the City, with support from the Gilbert Family Foundation, launched the Detroit Housing Resource HelpLine (866-313-2520) as a single point of entry for Detroiters needing to connect to housing-related services. Spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office and Housing and Revitalization Department, and operated by Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, the HelpLine is available to all Detroit residents.
“The City and its partners offer a lot of great services to help Detroiters with their housing needs, but they don’t mean much if people don’t know how to access them,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to the efforts of our partners and the generous support of the Gilbert Family Foundation, we now have a simple process to guide residents to the right housing resource and a growing number of programs to help them.”
Through the HelpLine, homeowners and homebuyers can access an array of resources available through the Detroit Housing Network, such as property tax foreclosure counseling, connections to home repair services, homebuyer preparation counseling and education, assistance with property tax issues and financial counseling. The HelpLine will also connect renters to resources, such as legal assistance for evictions and support to report poor rental property conditions. Residents can also connect to financial counseling and secure employment assistance through the HelpLine. These renter programs include resources available through the City as well as previous Gilbert Family Foundation investments like the Detroit Eviction Defense Fund.
The Detroit Housing Network, a City-led coalition of Detroit-based housing service providers, is being bolstered by a historic $10 million investment from the Gilbert Family Foundation as part of its efforts to increase housing stability, affordable homeownership opportunities and economic mobility for Detroiters. The Detroit Housing Network is administered by CHN Housing Partners and includes Central Detroit Christian CDC, Bridging Communities, Jefferson East Inc., Matrix Human Services, USNAPBAC, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and Southwest Economic Solutions.
How it works
The City’s Housing and Revitalization Department led the development of the Detroit Housing Network and the HelpLine by providing financial support, collaborating on program design and incubating these services to enhance program delivery for residents across the city.
“We are incredibly excited to offer these resources to residents that provide a renewed focus on access and customer service,” said Julie Schneider, director of the City Housing and Revitalization Department. “The creation of the Detroit Housing Network and the HelpLine will provide residents one-on-one support to navigate community resources and get closer to reaching their housing goals.”
Detroiters will be able to access this vast network of housing supports by calling the HelpLine, which will be staffed Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. When a resident calls 866-313-2520, they will speak to a member of the Detroit Housing Resource HelpLine.
Residents with pressing issues will immediately be connected to the resource they need. With the information obtained through the HelpLine, residents will be connected to each resource they qualify for and the organization providing it.
Creation of the hotline was a major part of the $203 million affordable housing plan announced last year by Mayor Duggan, along with Detroit City Council members Mary Waters, Angela Whitfield Calloway, Latisha Johnson and Gabriella Santiago-Romero.
Landmark $10 million investment
The Gilbert Family Foundation investment – part of Dan and Jennifer Gilbert’s 10-year, $500 million commitment to the city of Detroit – will be used to scale existing Detroit Housing Network offerings and onboard future programs and services over the next three years that empower Detroiters to reach their housing goals.
As new resources for renters, homeowners, and homebuyers are made available in Detroit, residents will be able to use the HelpLine to secure them rather than having to navigate various pathways to programs.
“Every Detroiter deserves access to safe, stable and healthy housing, as part of their journey toward economic mobility and financial freedom,” said Laura Grannemann, Executive Director of the Gilbert Family Foundation. This partnership with the Detroit Housing Network and the City of Detroit creates a new front door for housing services, dramatically simplifying the complex process of connecting with housing resources and expanding services to homeowners and renters alike.”
Through this catalytic investment, neighborhood-based housing service providers that are Detroit Housing Network Members will be able to share workflows and information to simplify the way Detroiters obtain essential housing assistance. One key component of this shared workflow is a unified intake form that some residents needing multiple interventions will be asked to complete. Questions may include specifics around their housing situation, preferred outcomes, supporting documentation and more.
CHN Housing Partners will additionally provide Detroit Housing Network Members with exclusive services, including ongoing training, reporting support and marketing consulting. It will further utilize the investment to expand the Detroit Housing Network’s public awareness and capacity to serve more Detroiters.
“This investment from the Gilbert Family Foundation, along with leadership of the City of Detroit and the collaboration of our Detroit Housing Network Members, is setting a foundation for a more systemic approach to housing service delivery and policy in Detroit,” said Kevin Nowak, Executive Director of CHN Housing Partners.
“This is the simplified approach that Detroiters need to keep housing stability and the dream of homeownership alive, accessible and equitable in our great city,” added Jason Headen, Vice President of Detroit Market for CHN Housing Partners.
To learn more about the Detroit Housing Network and their current service offerings, please visit DetroitHousingNetwork.org.
About the Gilbert Family Foundation
The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to accelerate a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and build economic opportunity and equity in the city of Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation supports groundbreaking, cutting-edge research in hopes of eradicating NF1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. Additionally, the Foundation supports the economic stability and mobility of residents in Detroit by investing in wealth-building opportunities and breaking down systemic barriers. For more information on the Gilbert Family Foundation, please visit gilbertfamilyfoundation.org.
About CHN Housing Partners
CHN Housing Partners was founded in 1981 and began working in Detroit in 2018. It is a large-scale affordable housing developer, residential lender and housing service provider that works with its partners to solve major housing challenges for low-income people and underserved communities. CHN also partners with people—low-income individuals, families, seniors, the disabled and those experiencing homelessness — to improve their housing stability and economic mobility. CHN’s impact in Cleveland includes 3,200 new homeowners, the housing stability services it provides annually to 50,000 individuals, and the development of over 7,000 new homes. In Michigan, CHN continues to focus on the power of a permanent address by working with public and private partners to increase Detroit’s stock of affordable housing through development, preservation and property management. CHN also leverages its expertise in nonprofit coalition building by acting as the Network Manager for the Detroit Housing Network – an alliance of housing nonprofits that have come together to provide clear and equitable access to housing services in Detroit. Learn more at www.chnhousingpartners.org/Detroit.