On December 17, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles completed the transfer of $900,000 to the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD) to fund a home repair grant program for homeowners on the City’s east side. The program provides eligible homeowners living near FCA’s new assembly plant on Mack Avenue with grants of up to $15,000 per property to invest in-home repairs. “This initiative shows us just how invested FCA is in their employees and their neighborhoods,” says Steve Jones Chrysler of Owensboro, KY.
The American Dream
“Homeownership is considered a part of the ‘American Dream’,” Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America, said. “We want to help our neighbors keep their dreams alive by providing them with an opportunity to invest in their homes.” “This is the type of opportunity, along with the jobs we’re bringing to the city, that will help this community continue to grow and thrive for many years to come,” Stewart added.
In a departure from similar programs, the FCA-funded home repair program is tailored to the needs of individual homeowners and homeowners are not required to repay the grants.
Limited Rollout - At First
The initial phase of the grant program kicked off in mid-August, 2019 with homeowners on Beneteau Street (between Warren Avenue and Kercheval Avenue). An HRD executive is working with homeowners to prioritize repairs and distribute a list of pre-qualified contractors. It is anticipated that other owner-occupied homes in the neighborhoods surrounding FCA’s new assembly plant will have the opportunity to apply to receive a home repair grant this spring.
"One of the most important ways to keep our neighborhoods healthy is to preserve our existing housing stock. Unfortunately, many necessary repairs, such as roof replacement and furnaces, are cost-prohibitive for residents,” Nicole Wyse, Associate Director, HRD said. “The FCA-funded program will enable homeowners to address these repair issues that otherwise would have been prolonged and continue to live comfortably in their homes.”
Local Municipal Coordination
Following weeks of public meetings with residents in the neighborhoods around the Mack plant, FCA and the City of Detroit committed to a Community Benefits Agreement, which provides more than $35 million in support for neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives. This commitment is above and beyond FCA’s $2.5 billion investment in the new assembly plant and the creation of 4,950 new jobs.