Take a look inside Genesee County Habitat for Humanity’s new Sylvan Court townhomes

FLINT, Michigan -- Genesee County Habitat for Humanity unveiled new townhomes on Sylvan Court in Flint’s Grand Traverse Neighborhood District last week, aimed at helping more people achieve the goal of home ownership.

The townhomes are part of a program that Habitat operates called, “Almost Home.” Families in the Almost Home program receive a safe and affordable living option while they are in the queue for a Habitat home.

“A lot of people who come to us aren’t quite ready to move right into home ownership,” said Thomas Hutchison, executive director of Genesee County Habitat for Humanity. “They’re facing huge cost burdens because of high rent or whatever their situation is. These townhomes in our Almost Home program allow people to come and be in a really nice town home while they work on their financial goals toward home ownership.”

Genesee County Habitat is one of only a few of the more than 1,200 Habitat for Humanity affiliates with an Almost Home program. The Sylvan Court units have all been filled.

The organization was formed in Genesee County based on the concept that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live. Each year, they build 6-10 new homes in Genesee County. Homeowner partners have to meet certain criteria, including being in need of better quality housing, being willing to partner with Habitat’s team in the form of “sweat equity,” and being able to afford a mortgage.

The new Almost Home property will help serve Habitat’s end-goal of helping families into home ownership, but it will also have a positive impact on the neighborhood. In addition to the newly constructed and occupied townhomes, Habitat is working with the Genesee County Land Bank to remove a neighboring blighted property and with the city of Flint to create a new entrance into nearby Memorial Park.

“Just opening up the park to more residents can be a catalyst to promoting more active lifestyles,” Hutchison said. “Being right downtown is great for a number of reasons. It preserves affordable housing downtown. If you’re in a position where you don’t have a car, you’re still right downtown by a lot of services and amenities.”

For more information about Genesee County Habitat for Humanity’s programs, visit the website.

Read more articles by Patrick Hayes.

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