Jefferson East, Inc. Receives $250K Grant for Flooding Support, Resources

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Jefferson East, Inc. (JEI) has received a $250,000 grant from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation to continue its mission of preserving and stabilizing homeownership in the East Jefferson corridor. A survey conducted by JEI indicates that more than 4,000 homes within the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods received between one and eight feet of water in their basements during last year’s catastrophic rainfall.


The grant will allow JEI to assist flooding victims with repairing and elevating furnaces that were damaged during the flooding event. To date, JEI has installed two green storm water parking lots that remove more than $800,000 gallons of stormwater each year and has been working with the City of Detroit to identify long-term solutions to minimize flooding moving forward.


The A.A. Van Elslander Foundation grant will allow JEI to:


  • Repair, replace and elevate furnaces
  • Link affected residents into other supports and resources
  • Counsel homeowners and help develop a long-term plan to further improve and stabilize their homes


“With this grant from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation, we have the ability to offer critical support to those in Detroit’s East Jefferson corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods,” said JEI CEO Josh Elling. “One of our major organizational goals at JEI is to preserve and stabilize homeownership. With the support from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation, we can help residents continue the long recovery from the June floods as well as get their heat back on during these cold days.”


JEI estimates there are more than 160 furnaces in need of repair in within Jefferson-Chalmers and other nearby neighborhood. The price of a furnace repair and replacement can range from $1,000 to upwards of $9,000. JEI will work to align these flooding resiliency fixes with the mayor’s newly announced $30 million home repair fund, the 0% Home Repair Loan Program, State Emergency Assistance and other funds. 


“Our father was always the first to help in a crisis,” said David Van Elslander, A.A. Van Elslander Foundation board member. “Following the unfortunate flooding events of last summer, with many residents facing this winter with no functional furnace or water heater, the Foundation saw a critical need. We are honored to support JEI’s efforts to help families within the Jefferson East neighborhood by repairing or replacing these essential items.”


The flooding support efforts from the grant tie into JEI’s overall housing counselling and case management work, including the H.O.M.E (Housing & Opportunity Matter to Everyone) program. JEI’s H.O.M.E. program has achieved significant results over the last five years. The organization remains among the highest performing intake partners for the home repair loan program in partnership with LISC and the City of Detroit. This includes having the second largest loan approval rates out of 14 intake partner agencies and closing over one-and-a-quarter-million dollars in funded home repair loans.  Additionally, the program has administered more than $1.8 million in home repair grants and loans, saved homeowners more than $50,000 in annual property tax costs through exemptions, and provided more than 4,500 homeowners and renters with range of housing support services.


If you are in need of housing or flooding support, please contact JEI’s Neighborhood Resource Hub by calling (313) 314-6415. To learn more about Jefferson East, Inc., please visit


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