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Detroit to get four new affordable housing complexes

Councilmember Latisha Johnson and Councilmember Mary Waters
Briana Rice
Michigan Radio
Detroit Councilmember Latisha Johnson and Councilmember Mary Waters outside of St. Matthew's School announcing four new affordable housing projects on June 23, 2022.

Detroit officials say a new fund will create 183 units of affordable housing in four neighborhoods.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Councilmember Latisha Johnson joined Michigan State Housing Development Authorities on Thursday to announce the new apartments.

They say the four housing projects will cost over $60 million dollars to build. The apartments will be in Old Redford, Midtown, Woodbridge and MorningSide neighborhoods.

Officials say rent costs won't be set any higher than 60% of the area median income. That means a family of two would need to make no more than $42,960 dollars to pay $1,074 for a 2-bedroom apartment. Some of the residents with lower incomes may have rent under $500.

The Federal Reserve says low-income families are "rent-burdened" if they pay more than 30% of their income for rent.

The apartments will be open to residents at risk of homelessness and there will be at least 20 market-rate apartments, meaning the tenants might not be considered low-income.

Councilmember Johnson says projects like this might mean that more low-income families can find permanent housing in Detroit.

"Recognizing how much of an emergency that exists in our city, I think it said to all of us, we have to stop, we have to figure out how we address this today or in the long term," she said.

The announcement was made at St. Matthew's School in MorningSide. The building will be renovated into Residences at St. Matthews, a 46-unit apartment building that will have on-site mental health counselors and doctors.

Donald Rencher is with Detroit’s Housing, Planning and Development Department.

"What’s really important about permanent supportive housing is that it comes with services that are badly needed.. We can’t just put people in a brick and mortar space and they are successful, sometimes people need additional services," he said.

Construction on the apartments will begin in 2023. Only one of the projects is planned to be completed by the end of 2023.

Each of the projects are partially funded by a $38 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit issued by the state. Officials say Detroit received the most LIHT credits out of any city in Michigan.

Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.
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