New $250K grant to help East Jefferson residents repair/replace furnaces damaged by 2021 floods

What’s happening: Residents of the East Jefferson corridor affected by last year’s historic rainfall might consider reaching out to the Jefferson East, Inc. organization this winter. Jefferson East, Inc. (JEI) is using a recently announced $250,000 grant from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation to help mitigate flood damage from last year’s storms. The grant will be used to help local homeowners repair, replace, and elevate furnaces damaged by basement flooding brought on by the rainstorms of 2021.

Why it’s important: According to a survey performed by JEI, more than 4,000 homes within Jefferson Chalmers and its surrounding neighborhoods received anywhere between one foot and eight feet of basement floodwater over the course of last year’s rainstorms. The organization estimates that at least 160 homes are currently in need of furnace repairs.

“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,” says 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.”

Where it goes: The $250,000 grant from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation will go toward repairing, replacing, and elevating furnaces. JEI also plans to link residents into other support and resource options and provide counsel for developing long-term home improvement and stabilization efforts.

What they’re saying: “Our father was always the first to help in a crisis,” says 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.”

For those interested: To inquire about the furnace repair-or-replace program, contact JEI’s Neighborhood Resource Hub by calling (313) 314-6415 or visit them online.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.