MSHDA joins ranks with MEDC and Patronicity

News Release MSHDA

Misty Miller
MSHDA Communications

September 30, 2015 

MSHDA joins ranks to accelerate Patronicity's crowdfunding initiatives for vibrant communities

Authority Board approves partnership with MEDC on groundbreaking Public Spaces Community Places program

 LANSING, Mich. – MSHDA is teaming up with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to fund new opportunities aimed at building vibrant communities, following the Authority Board’s approval of the collaboration during its regular meeting today.

The Board authorized a $1.5 million Housing Development Fund (HDF) grant to the MEDC for the Public Spaces Community Places Crowdfunding initiative effective October 1. The new, extended partnership is funded through September 30, 2016.

“This is an incredible opportunity to help drive public space projects in local communities while being a catalyst for increased economic activity around the state,” said Elsenheimer. “Working together with MEDC elevates MSHDA’s long history of helping communities create strategic plans for growth, now we will play an active role in seeing those concepts become bricks and mortar.”

MSHDA’s participation comes on the heels of a wildly successful first year of the crowdfunding and matching grant initiative. MEDC, with the support of the Michigan Municipal League, launched the first-of-its-kind model last June through the Patronicity crowdfunding platform.

“MEDC is pleased with the progress we’ve helped communities throughout the state make in their own improvements,” said Steve Arwood, president and CEO of MEDC. “Adding MSHDA to the list of partners will only expand and increase the success of the program and allow us to help more areas of the state.”

From June 2014 to September 2015, the Public Spaces Community Places program contributed more than $2.8 million in community funding to help activate upwards of 3.1 million square feet of space throughout Michigan. In the past year this it has more than quadrupled the impact of the grant dollars raised in the community.

Patronicity says adding MSHDA to the ranks means they are “leveling-up.”

"Better partnerships create better projects, and with the communities’ engagement to direct the projects that are most meaningful to them, we see incredible Public Space and Community Place placemaking initiatives across the state," said Patronicity co-founder Ebrahim Varachia.

The reward-based crowdfunding platform located in Detroit mobilizes community members, residents and general supporters around the state to make individual contributions while promoting their efforts to others.

The grant program is available to municipalities with projects that focus on “activation of public spaces and community places,” such as an outdoor plaza or park enhancements, and that have established public awareness and local momentum. Nonprofits and community organizations interested in starting projects with Patroncity can learn more at

“The potential to bring new vitality to communities and enable residents to play an active role in the growth of their hometowns is wonderful,” Elsenheimer said. “We are really looking forward to this new partnership.”