$20M Detroit Home Repair Fund Launched by Gilbert Family Foundation, ProMedica, DTE

The Gilbert Family Foundation, ProMedica, and DTE Energy along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan today unveiled the Detroit Home Repair Fund (DHRF), which will build capacity for nonprofit partners to provide low-income Detroit homeowners with critical home repairs.
Street with row of large older brick detached houses with gables
The $20 million Detroit Home Repair Fund will bring critical repairs to Detroit homeowners. // Stock Photo

The Gilbert Family Foundation, ProMedica, and DTE Energy along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan today unveiled the Detroit Home Repair Fund (DHRF), which will build capacity for nonprofit partners to provide low-income Detroit homeowners with critical home repairs.

The organizations have jointly committed more than $20 million to the DHRF over the next three years. The program is expected to serve more than 1,000 Detroit homeowners, with no minimum or maximum spend on each home.

One of the goals of the DHRF is to holistically address Detroit housing stability by leveraging multiple home repair resources all at once. As a result, the first track of DHRF will be available to community partners already working with DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) Program.

Eligible recipients are owner-occupied Detroit homeowners with income at or below the 200 percent of the federal poverty line who have applied for the 2022 Homeowner Property Exemption (HOPE). Interested Detroit residents can call (313) 306-2082 to inquire about the DHRF.

“Stable housing is about more than a place to live, it is about ensuring residents and their families feel safe and secure in their home,” says Jennifer Gilbert, co-founder of the Gilbert Family Foundation, which is investing $10 million to launch the initiative.

“We are proud to create the Detroit Home Repair Fund alongside dedicated partners who share our belief that Detroit homeowners should have access to critical repairs and the fulfilling home environment they deserve.”

ProMedica, a national health and well-being organization based in Toledo, says it is committed to transforming the health care system through strategic investments in scaling social determinants of health work. ProMedica is committing to raise $8 million for this effort through its Impact Fund, launched in 2021 to mobilize investment in social determinants of health and health care systems change.

“There is already significant evidence that healthier, safer homes are critical for people to be healthy and to spend more time at school, work, and with loved ones and less time in the hospital,” says Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica. “We’re excited to partner with the Gilbert Family Foundation and DTE Energy in the Detroit Home Repair Fund to provide comprehensive healthy housing services for Detroit homeowners.”

A 2020 report by the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions found that approximately 8,500 owner-occupied homes in Detroit are “inadequate or severely inadequate,” as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s American Housing Survey (AHS). This instability creates a negative cycle that erodes the health of Detroit families and threatens the preservation of generational wealth.

People living in unsafe, unhealthy homes are at greater risk of developing health conditions like asthma, suffering injuries from trips and falls, and struggling to pay utilities bills.

The DHRF aims to provide many of these Detroit homeowners with the necessary improvements to ensure that their housing is adequate at a minimum. The DHRF expects that repairs will be made to roofs, foundations, stairs, windows, drywall, and more.

The fund will complement a series of existing programs offered by the city of Detroit and its partners, including the American Rescue Plan Act funded Renew Detroit roof repair program, 0 percent interest home improvement loan program, Senior Emergency Home Repair Grant Program, and others.

“The city already is providing more home repair assistance than ever before and we are deeply appreciative to the Gilbert Family Foundation, DTE and ProMedica for recognizing the need that still exists and stepping up to help meet it,” says Duggan. “The most important thing we can do is to help longtime Detroiters stay in their homes. Giving them greater opportunity to make badly needed repairs is an important part of our ability to do that.”

DTE’s EEA program allows income-qualified homeowners to make their home more energy efficient by providing them with multiple products to help reduce their monthly bill and make their homes more affordable. These energy-efficiency products include heating system tune-ups or replacements, high efficiency water heaters, energy-efficient refrigerators, energy-efficient lighting, and home weatherization services.

DTE is investing $2 million into the DHRF through a philanthropic commitment, as well as expanding its Detroit-based EEA efforts and its health and safety pilot, which addresses barriers to participating in the program, such as roof repair, electrical upgrades and asbestos removal.

“We are committed to powering homes and powering brighter futures for Detroit residents through the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program, and now through the Detroit Home Repair Fund,” says Trevor Lauer, president and COO of DTE Electric. “Together, these programs will provide a greater reach and greater impact to families across our hometown of Detroit.”

The Gilbert Family Foundation and ProMedica’s commitment to the DHRF will be administered by Enterprise Community Partners and Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI). Enterprise is a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing housing supply, advancing racial equity, and building resilience and upward mobility. GHHI is an organization committed to developing innovative programs to promote healthy housing for all.

Enterprise and GHHI will invest into and work with community partners that participate in DTE Energy’s EEA program. Participants in the DHRF currently include Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, United Community Housing Coalition, Eastside Community Network, EcoWorks, Matrix Human Services, and CLEARCorps Detroit.

These non-profit partners will be able to leverage DHRF funding to complete needed repairs in homes that are eligible for the EEA program, providing homeowners with a more streamlined and comprehensive experience.

GHHI will host training sessions for nonprofit service provider partners on comprehensive assessment tools, braiding funding, best practices, standardization and achieving the DHRF’s mission. It will also provide technical assistance throughout the program’s duration and will partner with ProMedica to measure the program’s impact on health outcomes and health care spending over time.