Housing Development

Housing Development assists homeowners by correcting health and safety hazards, code violations, and making other mandatory repairs to their owner-occupied homes. 


The funds for these repairs are secured by placing a non-diminishing lien on the homeowner’s property. The lien is a 0% interest loan that must be repaid when the homeowner no longer lives in the home. Homeowners are encouraged to provide some leverage funds to complete the rehabilitation activities. These sources can come from some of the following organizations: Financial Institutions, DHS, and Veterans Organizations, Rural Development, Community Action, and/or personal funding.

All work in your home will be completed by an SMCAA-approved licensed contractor. Staff from SMCAA will monitor the work to ensure specifications and guidelines are being followed.

SMCAA administers various housing rehabilitation programs using funds from Community Block Development Grants (CDBG).  Targeted communities in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties are provided the assistance necessary to bring their homes into compliance with building codes, rehabilitation standards, and lead-based paint regulations. Besides the positive health and safety repairs, housing rehabilitation also allows the homeowners to maintain the quality of their houses and creates a positive effect in the surrounding community.

Who is eligible? 

  • The homeowner must have resided in the home for the past six months.

  • Your property taxes, homeowners insurance, and mortgage payments must be current.

  • Individuals or families must be earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income


If you answer yes to these questions you may want to inquire about applying for the Housing Rehabilitation Program:

  • Do I own/purchasing my home?

  • Have I resided in my home for at least 6 months?

  • Does my total household income meet the income eligibility criteria?

  • Am I willing to sign a lien equal to the amount of assistance that is provided to improve my home?

An emergency housing repaid program is sometimes available through SMCAA as well. The minor emergency repair program is dependent upon availability of funding at the time of the application and prioritized by type of emergency and may include heating, water heaters, electrical, plumbing, wells and septic systems issues.

To inquire on the SMCAA Housing Development programs and their availability, call 269-925-9077.

The American Housing Dream

The W family was in need of a furnace replacement but did not have the means to purchase one. After going to their local DHHS office, the family received a referral for an emergency repair but would need to fund a portion of the costs. The family was also instructed to contact SMCAA in the Community Development Block Grant Department to assist in the replacement.

Working with DHHS and Efficiency United, SMCAA was able to fulling fund the furnace for the W family. This mean no out-of-pocket expenses were necessary from the family, and they did not need to place a lien on their house in order to receive a new furnace before the upcoming winter. 

In addition, the family was eligible to apply for Weatherization -- a program the family had used years prior while living in a mobile home. Since their first experience with WAP, the family had purchased a single-family home and grown their annual household income. The W family utilized their former knowledge of SMCAA services to better insulate their home and ultimately increasing the value of receiving a new furnace as well!