Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
MSU-Apple Developer Academy in Detroit Accepting Applications
The Apple Developer Academy with Michigan State University in Detroit is accepting applications for its one-year program for students 18 years and older.
Those accepted will have the opportunity to become world-class developers using the Apple ecosystem to learn coding, design, entrepreneurship, and essential professional skills.
Students can expect to work on real-world challenges and connect with community and industry partners. In addition, MSU offers a month-long Foundation Program in Detroit designed for learners curious about the app economy, and interested in learning more about coding, design, and app development in general. For current MSU students interested in learning more about app development, visit the iOS Design Lab for more information.
A background in coding, design, or entrepreneurship is not required to be a student in the academy. Priority will be given to Detroit residents.
Applications close on June 28 at 11:59 p.m. Visit here to apply. Applicants will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org about the next steps by July.
RHP Properties Purchases Wisconsin Manufactured Home Community
RHP Properties in Farmington Hills, the nation’s largest private owner and operator of manufactured home communities, has acquired Dutch Harbor in Little Chute, Wisc., bringing the company’s total of manufactured home communities to 298 nationwide.
Dutch Harbor is an 80-site community with convenient access to many regional employers.
“RHP Properties is pleased to announce the purchase of Dutch Harbor, adjacent to one of our existing communities, Hickory Lane,” says Ross Partrich, CEO of RHP Properties. “With on-site, experienced management teams, our residents will benefit from our established regional presence and familiarity with the Appleton MSA.”
State Awards $1.8M in Neighborhood Enhancement Grants
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has awarded more than $1.8 million in Neighborhood Enhancement Program grants to 43 local governments and nonprofit groups across Michigan to launch projects directly tied to improving and stabilizing communities.
Projects will focus mainly on housing repairs and upgrades while some also will include neighborhood public amenity enhancements.
“As MSHDA works to support the improvement and stabilization of Michigan’s neighborhoods, we are pleased to award this latest round of grants to local groups across the state as they help their communities through the completion of high-impact projects aimed at improving the quality of life for residents,” says Tonya Young, manager of the Neighborhood Enhancement Team.
During this sixth round of issuing NEP grants, MSHDA allocated funds to 21 nonprofit agencies and 22 local units of government serving rural communities and urban neighborhoods. To become a grantee, organizations had to show a level of need and demonstrate that the proposed project will make a noticeable difference in the community and/or serve as a catalyst to promote neighborhood stability.
Residents should start noticing activity related to the grants in their communities this summer or fall and the projects should be complete by December 31, 2021.
Local recipients include:
- City of Madison Heights ($25,000)
- Bridging Communities in Wayne County ($50,000)
- HOPE Village Revitalization in Wayne County ($50,000)
- Jefferson East Inc. in Detroit ($50,000)
- Grant Amount: $50,000
- Joy Southfield CDC in Wayne County ($16,500)
- LifeBUILDERS in Wayne County ($50,000)
- Grant Amount: $50,000
- Midtown Detroit Inc. ($50,000)
- Rebuilding Together SE Michigan in Wayne County ($30,000)
- Sinai-Grace Guild CDC in Detroit ($25,000)
- Southwest Housing Solutions in Wayne County ($25,000)
- Venture Inc. in Oakland County ($45,000)
- Wayne County Land Bank/Highland Park ($40,000)
- Wayne Metro CAA/Highland Park ($50,000)
- Woodbridge NDC in Detroit ($50,000)
Homepoint Makes New Refinance Program Available for Low-income Families
Homepoint in Ann Arbor is making it easier for eligible low-income borrowers to take advantage of still historically low interest rates to secure a lower rate than they currently have and decrease their monthly mortgage payments.
Homepoint will begin offering Fannie Mae’s new refinance option, RefiNow, on June 7, making it easier for homeowners with a Fannie Mae-owned mortgage to reduce their interest rate by a minimum of 50-basis points and save at least $50 in monthly mortgage payments.
Additionally, Homepoint will provide a maximum $500 appraisal credit for borrowers that are not eligible for an appraisal waiver, on top of waiving the 50-basis point adverse market fee for borrowers with loan balances at or below $300,000. Flexible loan terms are available, so borrowers are not required to extend their loan term.
“This new refinance program is a huge benefit for the millions of homeowners who were unable to participate in last year’s refi boom, and a key opportunity for mortgage originators to expand their reach and serve more people in their communities,” says Phil Shoemaker, president of originations at Homepoint. “We’re proud that Homepoint is among the first mortgage lenders in the country to make this option available to homeowners through our partnership with independent mortgage brokers and correspondents.”
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae, estimates that more than 2 million low-income families did not refinance in 2020 when they could have benefited from it.
Homepoint is offering the RefiNow product to homeowners who meet all of the following criteria:
- Must have a Fannie Mae-backed mortgage secured by a one-unit, principal residence. Homeowners can determine if Fannie Mae owns their mortgage by visiting Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup Tool.
- A current income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (not the income as of origination of the original loan).
- Must not have missed a mortgage payment in the past six months, and no more than one missed mortgage payment in the past 12 months.
- Must have a mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio up to 97 percent, a debt-to-income ratio of 65 percent or less, and a minimum 620 FICO score (minimum 660 FICO score for manufactured homes).
Community Foundation, Wilson Fund Donates $800K to Area Greenway Projects
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation have donated nearly $800,000 in grants to six recipients through the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund. The goal of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund is to provide maintenance support to already developed trails and greenways.
“Parks and trails enrich a community’s quality of life and economic vitality, and public and private funding for the long-term maintenance of these important assets is critical,” says J.J. Tighe, director of Parks and Trails Initiative at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Our trails and greenways in southeast Michigan continue to connect people and communities to each other and provide recreational opportunities to get people moving while enjoying nature.”
Organizations receiving the 2021 grants include:
- Auburn Hills, Clinton River Trail ($200,000)
- Milford Township, Huron Valley Trail ($175,000)
- Flat Rock, Downriver Linked Greenways ($150,000)
- Michigan DNR, Belle Isle and start of Iron Belle Trail ($100,000)
- Grosse Ile, Downriver Linked Greenways and Iron Belle Trail ($80,000)
- Lyon Township, Huron Valley Trail ($75,000)
Lawrence Tech Gets Second Autonomous Electric Vehicle
Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has received a second Gem e2 electric vehicle, courtesy of the university’s computer science program, which has turned a two-seat car into an autonomous vehicle research platform for students to learn to develop software for the self-driving cars of the future.
Sponsors recognized included the United States Army’s DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center in Warren, the National Defense Industrial Association Michigan Chapter, the military business consultant Great Lakes Systems and Technology, the auto supplier DENSO, the Ann Arbor artificial intelligence technology developer SoarTech, the Ann Arbor simulation software developer Realtime Technologies, and the Rochester Hills drive-by-wire systems developer Dataspeed Inc.
Lawrence Tech also is adding a new graduate program, a Master of Science in artificial intelligence, that has a concentration related to autonomous vehicle development.
Student-built Trash Elimination App Wins Samsung Competition
Hope of Detroit charter school in southwest Detroit was named a Grand Champion in this year’s Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition with an app designed to eliminate trash and add sustainability in Detroit.
Creation of the Green Warrior App, which works to eliminate trash, abandoned houses, vacant field, and tires by allowing the community to report these issues by setting pins and enabling proper protocols to resolve the issues.
The students were awarded a $130,000 prize for their school, which will be used to build outdoor classrooms, a garden for their science class, and an amphitheater to provide more outdoor learning for students and provide a more eco-friendly learning environment.
Holocaust Memorial Center Presents ‘A Violin Tribute to the Holocaust’ Online June 8
The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills is presenting “A Violin Tribute to the Holocaust,” featuring French violinist Arnaud Sussmann accompanied by pianist Michael Brown, at 7 p.m. on June 8 via Zoom.
The program is a special Holocaust-inspired recital involving a musical exploration into the violinist’s family’s past, followed by a live Q&A.
To register for the program, visit here. Registrants will receive a link to the Zoom webinar.
“This will be a very moving and powerful performance,” says Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Center. “The recital not only honors the survival of Arnaud’s grandfather from notorious concentration camps but also the Jewish composers who, despite the horrors of WWII, wrote such beautiful, meaningful musical pieces that resonate both today and for generations to come.”
Dave Wagner, program director and host of WRCJ 90.9 FM, will moderate a live post-concert Q&A to learn more about Sussmann’s music and his family.