Mayor Mike Duggan, Archbishop Vigneron, MHT Housing President Van Fox, Fr. J.J. Mech, and others celebrated the Thursday groundbreaking of Cathedral Arts Apartments, which will provide 53 units of deeply affordable housing for residents. (Photo credit: City of Detroit)
Church bells rang out as Mayor Mike Duggan, the Archdiocese of Detroit and MHT Housing, Inc. celebrated the start of construction for the Cathedral Arts Apartments yesterday. The new development will bring 53 units of deeply affordable housing to the Gateway community in District 5, just north of the Boston-Edison neighborhood.
Located on a vacant lot on the west side of Woodward across from the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the $19.7 million project will also provide the community 6,000 square feet of space for commercial retail and community programs, including a workforce training center that will be operated by MHT.
Cathedral Arts Apartments will be the first new building constructed by the Archdiocese in Detroit in recent years. The project will also activate a vacant space on one of Detroit’s most critical commercial corridors, which the Archdiocese and Cathedral have owned and maintained for nearly 20 years.
Duggan said the Archdiocese’s Cathedral Arts project will help fill a tremendous need in the city for affordable housing. Since 2015, the City’s Housing & Revitalization Department has applied its resources to help preserve roughly 8,000 existing affordable units and build approximately another 2,000 units.
“Making sure we have enough affordable housing as our city rebuilds is going to take a community-wide effort, and this project is a great example of how the Archdiocese of Detroit and MHT Housing are important partners in that effort,” said Duggan. “We are deeply appreciative to Archbishop Vigneron and the Archdiocese for bringing these 53 new units of affordable housing into a growing area of our city.”
The property will be owned by a joint venture entity established between MHT Housing Inc. and the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It will be managed by MHT Management, one of the largest individual landlords in Detroit housing 30,000 residents across Michigan.
The development’s affordability was made possible through funding secured through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Housing Trust Funds; 16 Project-Based Vouchers from the Detroit Housing Commission; and a portion of owner financing provided by the Archdiocese of Detroit and MHT.
Development proceeds and cash flow from the property will benefit the mission and ministry of the parish.
“I am grateful that the Archdiocese has this opportunity to partner with the City of Detroit to bring new, affordable housing to the area surrounding our beloved Cathedral,” said Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron. “We are excited to participate in this next step in the ongoing revitalization of Detroit, bringing growth and resources to another neighborhood. As part of our mission, we strive to be an outward, mission-focused Church in Detroit that is focused not only on those in our pews, but on everyone in our community.”
Across the entirety of the property’s 53 affordable two-bedroom units, the development will offer a broad range of affordable housing options for future residents.
Planned rental rates for the development include:
- 27 units with rents starting at $960 for residents with incomes earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income;
- 6 units with rents starting at $800 for residents with incomes at or below 40 percent of the area median income;
- 4 units with rents starting at $540 for residents with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income;
- Future residents living in the remaining 16 units will not pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, due to the support of the Detroit Housing Commission’s project-based vouchers that will generally be targeted to residents making 30 percent or less of the area median income.
“MHT is thrilled to partner with the AOD to develop and manage 53 units of much needed affordable housing in Detroit in a brand new state of the art facility,” said Van Fox, president of MHT Housing. “We are also excited to launch, with the help of Citizens Bank, another training center to offer community members paid training in the property maintenance field, internships and full-time jobs.”