CEDAM AmeriCorps host site Community Housing Network collaborates to combat homelessness

With an extreme shortage of affordable housing across Michigan, CEDAM AmeriCorps members are playing a vital role for host organizations like Community Housing Network (CHN).

CHN serves Oakland and Macomb counties by helping residents find and maintain stable housing. Our first AmeriCorps member joined CHN in the fall of 2011 to serve their community in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. Since then, 10 AmeriCorps members have served them over the years, and they continue to help residents secure quality roofs over their heads.

“The [AmeriCorps] members have always been great,” says C.J. Felton, director of real estate development at CHN. “They’re great assets.”

AmeriCorps members do everything from working on the frontlines to connect residents with housing resources, to educating residents on financial issues. Given that CHN is the largest provider of homebuyer education in the state, our AmeriCorps members have the opportunity to make a significant impact. 

Host organizations like CHN are doing tremendous work in community economic development, and our AmeriCorps members give them more personnel to help as many people as possible.

“Working with the AmeriCorps program just made sense for us,” says C.J. “It was a way to add capacity to what we want to accomplish.”

Beyond Oakland and Macomb counties, CHN develops affordable housing all around the state with two projects currently under construction.

Erin Park will be a 52-unit duplex complex in Eastpointe for mixed-income individuals and families. It’s a rent-to-own housing development, meaning tenants will be able to purchase their home at the end of a 15-year affordability period. This means more stable housing for more residents in the community.

In Pontiac, CHN is in Phase V of their Unity Park Rentals development. Once the 12 homes currently under construction are completed, Unity Park will have 79 single-family homes in total.

Our AmeriCorps program is a unique opportunity for both host sites and members to gain support, situate themselves for success, and — most importantly — make an impact. Learn more about CEDAM’s AmeriCorps programs and how you can get involved in the future!