The Rental Readiness Program is available to low-income Grand Rapids households that have applied for rental housing and have been denied by the landlord. The program is administered by the Grand Rapids Housing Commission (GRHC) and is free of charge.

The household whose rental application was denied completes and submits the online Rental Readiness Application form.

GRHC staff* process each applicant’s paperwork, obtain and analyze the applicant’s credit report, and assess barriers to rental readiness. The applicant is invited to a private consultation to develop a Rental Readiness Plan. Some households are referred to employment services, with the goal of developing the resources that make rental housing more affordable. Others may be referred to Rental Readiness Workshops that can help them overcome barriers to renting. The GRHC partners with the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF), the Grand Rapids Urban League, West Michigan Works! and other service agencies to provide this assistance.

*The staff who process applications possess a Master of Social Work degree as well as years of experience helping families overcome barriers to housing.

Rental Readiness Workshops are offered both at the Rental Assistance Center and at various off-site locations. Households become certified as “rental ready” by completing workshops on such topics as…

  • Employment and income
  • Résumé building
  • Credit and budgeting
  • How to be a good tenant
  • What landlords look for in a tenant
  • The housing search process
  • Tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities

GRHC staff work with each household to create a portfolio of the documents needed to complete rental applications.

By attending workshops and eliminating barriers to renting, the household earns a Rental Readiness Certificate that’s valid for 90 days. The Certificate and Rental Readiness portfolio give the household a competitive advantage in a tight rental market by demonstrating to prospective landlords that the family is qualified and ready to rent.

According to an article in by Nick Manes:


“A new study shows that, despite the abundance of cranes in the sky constructing new apartment units around Grand Rapids, it’s not nearly enough.

According to real estate research website Zillow, the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has a 1.6 percent apartment vacancy rate, the lowest in the country. The national vacancy rate by comparison was 7 percent at the end of 2014. This is the lowest vacancy rate since 1993, according to the Zillow study.

“From the Eastown neighborhood, all the way through the central business district and out to the west side, developers have new construction projects — almost entirely apartments — going full force…”

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241 National NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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Call 616-293-5731
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4 Bed – 1 Bath
Size: 1350
Year built: 1925

Rental Description
Rehabbed 4BR 1BA home in downtown Grand Rapids West side neighborhood, less than a block from Bridge Street, near Harmony Brewing, future New Holland Brewing, and more exciting Bridge street development. Shares driveway with another fully rehabbed rental currently occupied by college students. New insulation, new windows and new furnace for efficient heating. Freshly painted by a professional, new BA and KIT floors. Partially fenced back yard with plenty of off street parking. Laundry included. Waterproofed basement for storage, enclosed front porch.

Rental Features

  • Cable ready
  • Hardwood floors
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven / range
  • Heat – gas

Property Features

  • Laundry room
  • Parking

Lease Terms
$925.00 security deposit
12 Months
24 Months

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802 Coldbrook St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Rental ImageCall 616-635-1497
visit our website
2 Bed – 1 Bath
Size: 800
Year built: 0
Under Construction. Should be ready for a Sept 1 Move in.

Rental Description

Rental Features
  • Hardwood floors
  • Refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Laundry room / hookups
  • Oven / range
  • Heat – gas


Lease Terms
$675.00 security deposit
Month to Month, Tenant to pay gas and Electric.

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Beginning July 1, all rental properties in Grand Rapids will require inspections, a move proponents believe will make rental properties safer and help reduce the growing number of blighted homes, which has exploded since the housing crisis began six years ago. Housing advocates say the city has seen some 3,200 homes converted into rental properties between 2006 and 2009 because of the housing crunch and add there are some 4,000 foreclosed homes now vacant in the city.

“In the end, this is a positive thing for our neighborhoods,” said Tyler Nickerson, affordable housing advocate with the Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness. Nickerson conceded the group had hoped to win more frequent certifications for rentals.

Landlords will have the option of applying for four-year or six-year certifications that their properties comply with city housing codes. An earlier version of the ordinance had specified a two-year certification option, which was dropped in a compromise with city landlords, something Nickerson and other housing advocates said they can live with.