A unique feature of the Westown Jubilee Homesteading program is preparing the candidate family and the potential home on parallel tracks. While homes are acquired, remodeled, insured and insulated – the candidate family (couple or individual) is learning money management skills, investing sweat equity hours, and saving up a small down payment nest egg. Many choices (paint colors, siding, appliances, etc.) are made by the homesteader candidate working alongside Christian craftsmen and volunteers. A Land Contract sale is completed and a “Housing Coach” is assigned to guide the first year of home maintenance. Most homes have one or more support partners (churches, businesses, mission work groups, etc.) that enable the sale to be below market value and affordable for medium to low income neighbors. A dedication celebration raises our visibility, and welcomes a new neighbor to put down deep roots in Westown.

What’s the Process?

· Submit competed application to WJH.

· WJH reviews the application and meets with the applicants to explain the Home Owner’s Training and Preparation Program.

· When the potential homesteader has made sufficient progress with the training, discussion begins to pair up the homesteader with an available home.

· Paperwork is initiated for a lease-to-own purchase plan.

How does the Homesteader Benefit?

The homesteader is able to own their own home at a very reasonable price without meeting all of a commercial bank’s credit requirements. The purchase price of the home is below fair market value because a large portion of the materials and labor to restore and renovate the house are donated. Construction detail is usually superior in these homes because no profit must be generated in the reconstruction process.

How does WJH Benefit?

We are a charitable non-profit corporation directed and supported by Christian individual businesses and churches. We are answering God’s call to provide home-ownership to deserving individuals in the inner-city, one family at a time. Our “pay-back” is seeing the joy on the faces of a family realizing their dream of owning their own home and hearing the Lord say to us “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.

What are the General Requirements?

· A love for Grand Rapids’ Westown area and a solid reason to live there.

· A financial history that indicates the ability to make reasonable rental or mortgage payments.

· A willingness to invest their own time and labor in the house.

· A willingness to maintain the property at an acceptable level.

· Demonstrate family values with no history of abuse or current drug use.

· A willingness to take course on financial management during the rental period.

· An interest in making the community sustainable and a better place to live.

· A strong desire to be a homesteader.

Apply to be a Homesteader

Are you ready to be a homesteader? Please feel free to contact us if you have questions. If you are ready to apply, you can contact us to be mailed or emailed an application. You can email the application to us at or fax them at (616) 458-5229.


Built upon the same principles as our homesteader program, WJH offers long-term rentals to those who are in need of getting a start in their homeowning experience.

If you have any questions about the tenancy program and its requirements, please contact us with your questions! Currently we do not take application unless we have an available unit. All of our rentals are month to month leases.