Milwaukee Junction Apartments Opens to Bring Affordable Housing to New Center Area

The Milwaukee Junction Apartments feature 25 units of housing, 20 of them at affordable housing rates of 40 percent to 80 percent area median income. Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance photo

 

The City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department announced today that a new affordable-housing development project in the city’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood has opened and residents are moving in.

 

The 22,845-square-foot, four-story development at 258 E. Milwaukee St. cost about $8 million to build. So far, 12 residents have moved in since the building opened recently. This project serves as a vital component of the neighborhood revitalization work being implemented in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood and serves as a beacon of mixed income housing in an area of the city that is seeing increasing rents and demand.

 

Developed by Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance (DCPA) and Bingham Farms-based MHT Housing, the Milwaukee Junction Apartments offer 25 units of housing with 20 of them offered at affordable rates, ranging from 40 percent to 80 percent area median income (AMI). This translates to $454 to $945 a month, with water included. The affordability of these units is made possible through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and support from the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department and the Detroit Housing Commission.

 

“We know that those who are making the least sometimes need the most help,” said Cleophus Bradley, Director of Operations for the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance. “We also believe that affordable housing done right, does the most good to create housing options that are every bit as good as non-affordable housing. Just because they cannot afford to pay more does not mean they deserve less.”

 

For that reason, there is no difference between the units designated as affordable and the market rate units, helping to ensure quality housing for Detroiters, no matter their income. The DCPA is dedicated to strengthening residents’ quality of life through community activism and social programs, as well as spiritual support.

 

“This is truly a mixed-income development, one that is representative of the community as a whole,” said Julie Schneider, director of the Housing, Planning and Development Department. “It is so important that we create developments and neighborhoods with Detroiters of all walks of life together instead of sectioning off people based on their income. It also creates affordable housing opportunities in an area experiencing rising rents. A successful city is an inclusive city, and this is why it is one of our key missions as a department.”

 

The Milwaukee Junction Apartments feature a large community room, private parking and a bike storage room. The units themselves offer amenities such as central air-conditioning, in-unit washers and dryers and energy-efficient LED lighting. The building also offers bus and QLINE stops within walking distance, helping to make it transit-friendly for residents and providing access to all of the amenities along the Woodward Corridor and New Center, medical care at nearby Henry Ford Hospital and the Detroit Medical Center, and access to cultural amenities such as the Detroit Institute of Arts. The development also features about 1,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space to serve residents of the property and neighbors in the community alike.

 

The project is a single four-story building with one unit located on the first floor along with common area amenities including a lobby and large community room for resident gatherings and events, a mailroom, a bike storage room and a mechanical room.  The remaining 24 residential units are located on the second, third and fourth floors. As guided by the City of Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department, the project features a transit-oriented theme with the building sitting along Milwaukee with minimal setback, a bike room for residents to store their bikes, and walkable proximity to a bus stop and QLINE stop.

 

The DCPA began in 1968, following the unrest seen in the city the year before, when a group of priests and parishioners fought to fill needs in the community. With participation from about 15 city parishes, and over 500 members the mission has since expanded, with affordable housing being its main focus, as well as senior and youth programs, anti-racism training and community service. In the past 15 years, the nonprofit has invested more than $40 million into the community.

 

MHT is a nonprofit housing corporation whose mission is to provide and develop affordable housing.  It has been recognized for also providing services within Detroit, such as a nationally recognized summer workforce program for Detroit teens, afterschool tutoring and afterschool meals, and an eviction-defense program, among other commitments to the community.

 

The Milwaukee Junction project is similar to one that the DCPA / MHT opened in 2019, a $9.5 million 36-unit mixed-use affordable housing development at 9100 Gratiot, near Eastern Market. Most of the DCPA’s focus has been on the city’s east side, but after seeing the cost of rents increase in the Greater New Center area, “we decided to help increase the amount of affordable housing for residents in the neighborhood,” Bradley said.

 

The Milwaukee Junction Apartments is managed by Continental Construction & Management, a subsidiary of MHT Housing.

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