Mayor Mike Duggan and City and State officials joined developers earlier this week to celebrate the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA) awarding highly competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) awards to seven developments in Detroit, representing a total of 517 units of affordable housing and a total investment of $150.2 million in neighborhoods across the city.
This housing is for residents earning as little as $16,000 per year and up to $45,000 per year. Six of the projects will involve new construction, and two will see the renovation of historic structures. The seven Detroit projects will receive a combined $74.5 million in funding from MSHDA through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). All but two of the developments are reserved as 100 percent affordable housing; a combined 84 percent of the units (517 of 619) in the seven developments will be affordable.
“We have made a commitment to longtime Detroiters that, as this city redevelops, they will not be pushed out of their homes and that we will ensure everyone has access to and can afford quality housing no matter their income,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “To have this level of support from MSHDA is proof that our housing strategy is working. I would like to thank MSHDA and HUD for this incredible level of support and in their confidence in our plan to create and preserve affordable housing in this city.”
The announcement was made at the former home of the Lewis College of Business, once Michigan’s only HCBU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Thanks to a LIHTC award, the former campus will be saved and turned into 105 units of low-income senior housing for those 55 years and older. The two buildings will have 32 units, and a new four-story senior building with 73 units will be built behind them. The project, co-developed by Wallick Communities of New Albany, Ohio, and Southfield-based
Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, represents a $20 million investment in the Littlefield neighborhood in Council District 2.
The redevelopment will be 100 percent affordable, with units at 30 percent to 80 percent area median income. Rents will be determined by income and range from $335 to $765 a month. The units are income-restricted and for those making $16,800 to $48,000 a year.
“We would like to thank MSHDA, HUD and Mayor Duggan’s administration for helping us to save this historically important site and to bring quality, affordable housing to Detroit seniors,” said Roger Myers, president and CEO of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. “PVM is dedicated to this city and to providing the finest housing possible to seniors of all faiths and creating new possibilities for quality living. We cannot wait to bring these new apartments online and thank the City of Detroit for entrusting us with bringing new life to this historic resource.”
The school was founded in 1928 by Violet T. Lewis as the Lewis Business College in Indiana, and was later reorganized as the Lewis College of Business. Due to segregation laws at the time, private and post-secondary schools didn’t accept African-American students. The Detroit branch of the school was opened in 1939 on Ferry Street and John R, and expanded to over 300 daily students through the 1940s and 1950s. The college offered courses in typewriting, bookkeeping, stenography, penmanship, and office management. In 1976, the college moved to this campus on Meyers Road – a location that was previously home to the Detroit Bible Institute, which opened these buildings in 1950. Lewis College of Business was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Education as an HBCU in 1987, and was the only HBCU in Michigan. The campus has sat vacant since the college closed in 2013.
“It’s a great day in District 2 – and it’s a great day for creating opportunity for all who call the city of Detroit home,” said Councilmember Roy McCalister Jr., whose district includes the former Lewis College site. “We are creating quality affordable housing for seniors. We are preserving Black history in Detroit. And we are bringing millions in investment and creating jobs in our neighborhoods.”
Here is a look at the six other affordable housing projects receiving LIHTC funding this round:
The Henry Street project will see Olympia Development and Cinnaire Solutions
turn seven historic buildings into 170 units, 84 of which will be reserved as affordable.
Henry Street redevelopment: Olympia Development of Michigan and Cinnaire Solutions will redevelop seven 1920s-era historic buildings in the Cass-Henry Historic District in District 6. All seven sit on a single city block bounded by Henry Street, Cass Avenue, Second Street and the I-75 service drive. The $30.4 million project will create 170 residential units, 84 of which will be reserved as affordable housing. All current residents will have the opportunity to live in a newly redeveloped unit at rents similar to what they are currently paying.
“Public support is critical to our ability to bring affordable housing to communities all across the region and with this LIHTC award, it will enable a truly special project that ensures housing opportunities for Detroiters,” said Lucius Vassar, corporate counsel and executive vice president of equitable engagement for Cinnaire Solutions. “We look forward to working with the City of Detroit and Detroit City Council to achieve the final building blocks that will make the Henry Street proposal a reality.”
AFG Miller Grove Center: This 100 percent affordable, new construction development will be built by Full Circle Communities and feature 45 units at 30 percent to 50 percent AMI. Twenty-five of the units will be permanent supportive housing. The $14.8 million project will be located in the Old Redford neighborhood in District 1 at McNichols Avenue and Burt Road.
Preserve on Ash: This development is part of the second phase of the City’s Choice Neighborhoods plan for Greater Corktown in District 6. The City was awarded $30 million from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in May for its comprehensive plan to bring more than 500 new units of affordable housing in the neighborhood. The Community Builders will use the LIHTC funding toward a $47 million investment in building quality affordable and market-rate housing in North Corktown. Out of the 160 total units to be created, 144 will be affordable with rates at 30 percent to 80 percent AMI.
Woodward Avenue Apartments: Coming to the Arden Park neighborhood will be this 100 percent affordable, 53-unit, new construction development offering units ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent AMI. It is one of three properties receiving LIHTC awards this year being developed by MHT Housing Inc., this one in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Detroit. The $16.7 million project will be erected at Woodward Avenue and Glynn Court in District 5.
Brush Park: This new construction development by MHT Housing Inc. will feature 53 units of affordable housing ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent AMI. The $13.4 million project is located at Brush and Winder streets in the Brush Park neighborhood in District 5. It will be 100 percent affordable housing.
MLK on 2nd: The $8.3 million new construction project will be 100 percent affordable and feature 33 units ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent AMI. The development is also being built by MHT Housing Inc., and will be located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Second Avenue in Midtown in District 6.
“MHT would like to thank MSHDA for supporting our efforts to bring quality affordable housing to the city of Detroit,” said T. Van Fox, president of MHT Housing. “To have three of our developments selected for these highly competitive grants is something we are incredibly proud of, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in neighborhoods across Detroit.”
The Detroit Housing Commission has awarded project-based vouchers on 10 percent of the units across the three MHT projects.
LIHTC is a federal program administered in Michigan by MSHDA that helps fund the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for households between 30 percent and 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), as determined by HUD. Rents at LIHTC properties are limited based on the AMI, ensuring eligible households have quality units to call home at an affordable price.
“MSHDA is thrilled to provide the financial catalyst that helps make this diverse group of housing development projects possible,” said Chad Benson, MSHDA rental development director. “We look forward to our continued partnership toward the shared goal of meeting the affordable housing needs of the citizens of Detroit.”
The City’s Housing & Revitalization Department subsidized the projects and assisted in a variety of other ways, such as the facilitation of permitting that is necessary for LIHTC application submissions. Through its ongoing efforts to build and protect affordable housing in Detroit, the department has either helped create or preserve 900 units in the past year, and work started this year on an additional 187. HRD has helped preserve or create more than 6,000 units of affordable housing over the past five years.
“I would like to thank MSHDA and our development partners for helping us continue to create and preserve affordable housing in this city,” said Julie Schneider, acting HRD director. “The Housing & Revitalization Department is dedicated to ensuring that development in our city creates equity and opportunity and that our city’s neighborhoods are welcoming, inclusive places for all.”
2021 Area Median Income Limits and Rent Limits for One Person
30% AMI 40% AMI 50% AMI 60% AMI 80% AMI
Income $16,800 $22,400 $28,000 $33,600 $44,800
Rent for 1-Bedroom $450/month $600/month $750/month $900/month $1,200/month
*Amounts may shift slightly with household and unit size.