Rocket Community Fund and Detroit Land Bank Authority Celebrate 100th Home Listing for Rehabbed & Ready with Launch of New Down Payment Assistance Program
- Rehabbed & Ready continues to stabilize property values in Detroit neighborhoods by reducing appraisal gaps with market-ready housing.
- Rehabbed & Ready down payment assistance program will increase accessibility for income-eligible buyers.
- Historic 100th listing in Islandview neighborhood offers 1,400+ sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 1.5 baths and an all-electric system that is 51% more efficient than a standard home.
DETROIT, October 17th, 2023 – The Rocket Community Fund and Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA) today announced a new down payment assistance initiative to support buyers participating in the Rehabbed & Ready program, a public-private partnership that renovates homes, creates new homeowners and increases access to financing in Detroit neighborhoods that have an appraisal gap. The announcement was made at a celebratory press conference highlighting the 100th home listing for Rehabbed & Ready.
Rehabbed & Ready’s primary goal continues to be creating market-rate comparable home sales (comps) to close existing appraisal gaps in Detroit neighborhoods. The addition of the Rehabbed & Ready down payment assistance fund will ensure that homeownership through the program remains accessible to middle- and lower-income families as home values stabilize and increase around the city. The fund will be managed by National Faith Homebuyers, which also runs the City of Detroit’s separate down payment assistance program.
“For the last eight years, Rehabbed & Ready has steadily worked in more than 10 neighborhoods to create move-in ready homes, reduce blight and increase access to financing for all homeowners by closing the appraisal gap,” said Laura Grannemann, Executive Director of the Rocket Community Fund. “As Detroit’s housing market continues to improve and stabilize, we are proud to add another tool to our toolkit, working with National Faith Homebuyers to ensure that these beautifully renovated homes remain accessible and affordable for Detroit families.”
The program will support buyers who make up to 120% of the area median income and is exclusively for use with Rehabbed & Ready home purchases.
“We are excited to see the evolution of the Rehabbed & Ready program, with the continued support and partnership of the Rocket Community Fund,” says Detroit Land Bank Authority CEO Tammy Daniels. “This program will expand the accessibility of stable housing to a much larger group of low- and middle-income buyers while simultaneously helping to rebuild and revitalize Detroit neighborhoods.”
How Rehabbed & Ready Works
Rehabbed & Ready was created by the Rocket Community Fund and DLBA in 2015 with the goal of reducing blight and stabilizing property values in four strategically selected Detroit neighborhoods: Bagley, Crary/St. Mary’s, College Park and Evergreen/Outer Drive.
Through the program, the Rocket Community Fund provides repair funding for the DLBA to rehabilitate blighted Land Bank properties into move-in ready homes complete with all-new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The homes are then sold exclusively to homeowner-occupants at fair market value. This helps bridge the appraisal gap in the neighborhood by establishing viable comparable properties for appraisal, making it easier for future home buyers to access financing and increasing property values for existing homeowners.
To date, 99 homes have been sold, and 22 additional houses are under construction. The average combined cost of the properties and renovations is $181,169, and the average sales price of the homes is $168,536 – a 7% loss covered by a backstop from the Rocket Community Fund. For comparison, the average loss on each property in the first year of the program was nearly 31%, proving that property values have significantly stabilized since the inception of the program.
The Rocket Community Fund, the philanthropic partner of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), founded the program with an initial $5 million investment. In 2021, the Rocket Community Fund and City of Detroit made a joint $5 million contribution to scale the program across all 10 strategic Neighborhood Fund areas and develop a pipeline of 200 new homes.
“The Rehabbed & Ready program has been an important part of our effort to transform blight to beauty and strengthen our neighborhoods,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to Dan Gilbert’s vision to create this program, the Rocket Community Fund’s ongoing financial support and its partnership with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, 100 vacant homes have been beautifully restored, increasing the value of homes near each of them.”
A 2021 report from the University of Michigan Ginsberg Center analyzed the first three years of the program (2016-2018) to assess its impact. The report showed that median sale prices grew an additional 11.5% per year in Rehabbed & Ready neighborhoods compared to other neighborhoods. Also, the percentage of homes in Rehabbed & Ready neighborhoods purchased with a mortgage grew an additional 5.6% per year over the three-year treatment period – eventually reaching 42.2%, or nearly double the entire city’s 21.6% average.
The 100th Home
The 100th Rehabbed & Ready home is a perfect example of a property that will benefit from the new down payment assistance program. Located in the highly desirable Islandview neighborhood, the farmhouse bungalow home offers four bedrooms, one and one-half bathrooms and 1,444 total sq. ft. of living space. Originally built in 1909, the home has been stunningly renovated with a focus on elegance, comfort and efficiency. Notably, the property boasts high-efficiency electric appliances, an electric heating and cooling system and an electric water heater, significantly reducing its overall energy costs. Testing shows this home is 51% more efficient than one built to minimum code requirements, which equates to an annual energy savings of $2,270. The listing price has not yet been set.
Completed homes are available for purchase at the Rehabbed & Ready website. The website also provides information for prospective contractors interested in working with the Detroit Land Bank Authority to renovate properties, as well as information on the home buying process for potential applicants.
About the Rocket Community Fund:
The Rocket Community Fund aims to simplify complex and inequitable systems to ensure that every American has access to stable, healthy housing. It also invests in people and practices that provide meaningful opportunities for education and employment.
Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully harnesses team member talent, technology, policy advocacy and philanthropic resources to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit and across the country.
Alongside financial investments, the Rocket Community Fund has organized Rocket Companies, Bedrock and other team members to provide more than one million volunteer hours nationwide, including more than 720,000 in Detroit.
For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.
About the Detroit Land Bank Authority:
The Detroit Land Bank Authority’s mission is to restore blighted and vacant properties to productive use. Through its variety of sales programs, the DLBA makes home and land ownership affordable and accessible to Detroiters. It works directly with individual buyers, as well as Community Partner organizations and developers for projects big and small. Taking its commitment to revitalization one step further, the DLBA requires renovation and occupancy, to improve neighborhoods and combat real estate speculation.
Through its popular Side Lot program, the DLBA has sold more than 17,000 vacant lots to neighbors since 2014. Its successful Auction, Own It Now, and Nuisance Abatement programs have generated more than 5,300 successful buyer-driven renovations, with an additional 6,600 currently underway. Post-sale surveys show 70% of its home buyers are Detroit residents. The DLBA sells houses and lots every day on its website, and also offers additional properties through estate brokers.
For more information and to view current property listings, visit buildingdetroit.org.