100 new homes will take shape on vacant lots in the coming years, and Katlyn Nagy will be the first person to call one of them home. “I feel like this program is making the American dream achievable again when it otherwise wouldn’t be for me,” Nagy said. Nagy, an English teacher who currently rents in Ann Arbor, heard about the City of Jackson’s 100 Homes Program from a co-worker at South Central Michigan Virtual School. “I knew I wanted to live in the area but wasn’t sure if I could afford it. The process was super easy,” Nagy said.
Launched in fall 2023, the 100 Homes Program will help build 100 new single-family homes on vacant City-owned lots. The program is fueled by $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds. It provides $25,000 in down payment assistance for income-qualified home buyers. After meeting initial qualifications of the program, the buyers work with a mortgage company of their choosing. City staff connect them with builders and a lot is selected after funding is secured. There are three plans buyers can choose from, which are a mix of one and two story houses, with up to three bedrooms and one and a half baths. All home prices are capped at $175,000 to make them affordable.
100 Homes Coordinator Cory Mays says as of early Dec. 2023, 200 applications have been submitted and four homebuyers have made it through the approval process. “People are excited we have this money to provide and the home prices are at a great level. This big response really shows the need that exists in Jackson for new single-family homes,” Mays said.
Even before pouring its first foundation, the 100 Homes plan is spurring a housing boom in Jackson. By the end of 2023, six new single-family homes were constructed by private builders and sold on the open market, with seven more awaiting approval. “Strengthening neighborhoods, growing our population and boosting the local economy will happen with this program. The impact of 100 Homes is going to be huge,” Mays said.
The first round of home construction is set to begin this winter, with the program lasting through 2026. City staff are still accepting applications from potential home-buyers through the 100 Homes section of the City website, cityofjackson.org. “The hope is that this is not a one-off program and this positive momentum can continue,” Mays said.
Nagy is finalizing the house type and lot location for her first house. “The program opens up homeownership for a wider demographic of people who may not be able to purchase a home. It sets up that long-term investment and generational wealth,” Nagy said. Noticing Jackson’s progress in recent years, she’s looking forward to calling the City home. “All of my students are from this area and I’m excited to learn more about where they come from and use that experience to enrich their learning experience,” Nagy said.