Banking on Detroit: Bank of America invests $1.5M to help owners repair homes

Bank of America has made a one-time $1.5 million investment into the city of Detroit to help the people who are working make major repairs in their homes.

For people like Felton Walker, his home that was built in 1922 was in desperate need of repairs. But the money wasn't there. 

Then he learned he qualified for a zero percent interest home improvement loan for up to $25,000. It probably saved his home.

"There's no way I was able to afford that," Walker said. "I wouldn't be able to do this without that program."

"Over the last five years this program has supported more than 500 homeowners," said executive Matt Elliott  "This proven program is helping people stay and invest in our historic neighborhoods right here in Detroit."

On Thursday, Bank of America announced a gift of an additional $1.5 million in funding for the program and is also helping with grants for down payments and closing costs for low-income home buyers.

Plus another million dollars to Invest Detroit to improve streetscapes and commercial corridors. Part of the goal is to get storefronts back in business.

The owner of Detroit Sip, a coffee shop on McNichols east of Wyoming, Jevona Watson was a Motor City Match winner in an area that's coming back to life with the help of the community.

"I found it's easier to start a business than it is to sustain. So it's very important - after the business is open - to continue to support (the business) because it's the only way that we survive...," Watson said.

The city hopes that by partnering with Bank of America, businesses will begin thriving again in Detroit.

"If Bank of America had not been in at the beginning on Motor City Match, you'd be looking at a vacant storefront. What they're doing matters," said Mayor Mike Duggan.

Check out more information about both of these programs here: