A fund to help developers build more affordable housing in Detroit received a $10 million boost Wednesday and announced plans to support a sixth project — the renovation of a vacant apartment in the Piety Hill neighborhood.
The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund, launched September 2020 and managed by the Detroit branch of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, has raised $65 million of its $75 million goal, city officials and LISC Detroit said on Wednesday.
“For Detroit, we’re targeting housing instability for residents who have households under $50,000 and we think that housing these residents that need deeper affordability are our primary customers,” said Tahirih Ziegler, LISC Midwest program vice president at a news conference Wednesday.
The private fund offers developers low-interest loans, private grants and other financial tools to build affordable housing projects. It has supported the creation or preservation of 224 units across the city, according to a news release.
Cleveland-based KeyBank on Wednesday announced a $10 million investment into the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund. City officials and LISC Detroit also announced a sixth housing project supported by the investment dollars.
Developer Hazelwood Partners LLC received a $2.9 million loan for its $4.4 million project to renovate the Weber Apartments, a 1927-era apartment building that is currently vacant and located at 655 Hazelwood St. in Detroit’s Piety Hill neighborhood.
The building will have 44 units with six apartments at or below 50% of the area median income, or AMI, and the rest at or below 80% of the AMI. That looks like monthly rents between $750 and $1,200 for one-bedroom units, according to a news release. The renovations are slated to be completed late this summer.
The fund primarily finances housing that would be affordable to households at or below 60% of the area median income. That translates to $33,600 for an individual household. The median income in Detroit is $33,965, according to 2019 Census data.
Michigan has a serious lack of affordable housing. Seventy-three percent of extremely low income families — those with annual incomes of $25,750 or less for a family of four — spend more than half of their income on housing, according to a National Low Income Housing Coalition analysis. Metro Detroit alone has a shortage of 100,000 units for these households.
“Affordable housing doesn’t happen by accident, it takes an extraordinary amount of planning and here’s the problem … whether you are building affordable housing or housing for the wealthy, the construction costs are the same,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.
Thirty percent of the six projects were led by developers of color, said Camille Walker Banks, LISC Detroit executive director.
Here are the other projects funded by the partnership:
Osi Art Apartments
The Osi Art Apartments in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood broke ground in fall of 2020. Half of the 30 units, located at 3820 Grand River Ave., are expected to be set at 80% of the AMI, which translates to a person making $44,800.
The developers are George N’Namdi, who runs the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, and Roderick Hardamon, CEO of URGE Development Group who wanted to bring an arts-oriented building to Grand River Avenue.
The developers are looking to complete the project in 2023, Izegbe N’Namdi, community curator with N’Namdi Holdings, said in an email. Residents will be able to apply six to eight months before it is completed.
West Boston Apartments
The 27-unit West Boston Apartments at 3220 W. Boston near the Boston-Edison neighborhood will be renovated by Develop Detroit. Half are for individuals making $28,000 or less, or 50% AMI. The developer received a $1.8 million loan from the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund. The building is expected to remain affordable for the next 25 years and renovation is slated to wrap up in March.
Developers Tom Anderton and Adam Noel of Charlotte Detroit LLC want to take an abandoned 1923 building and turn it into 28 units of housing. The Charlotte is at 10210 Second Ave. at Glynn Court and received a $2.6 million investment from the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund.
Nine of the 28 units will at 60% AMI, or an individual making $33,600. The asking rent will be about $950 a month for those one-bedroom units, Adam Noel, co-owner and project manager, said in an email. The remaining one-bedroom units will be similarly priced, with two-bedroom apartments at around $1,300 a month, he said.
The renovation started early last year and the building is expected to open in the spring, Noel said.
“Future residents should expect to start seeing marketing materials for the property in March/April, after we have a few units completed and ready for viewing,” he said.
Mixed-use development Dreamtroit, located at 1331 Holden St., will be an artistic enclave featuring apartments, a market and restaurant. Seventeen of 81 units are for those at 50% AMI, or a one-person household making $28,000. Another 41 units will be at 80% AMI, or a person making $44,800. Asking rent will range from $365 to $1,800, Oren Goldenberg, one of the two people behind the project, said in an email.
The project, which received $2.3 million from the fund last year, is expected to be completed November, said Goldenberg. A waitlist is currently available and applications begin July, he said.
The Belnord, located at 324 Hendrie St., will be renovated by JacobStreet LLC. The project received a $2.5 million loan from the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and is expected to be completed this year. Two of the 29 apartments will be at or below 50% AMI, or $28,000 for a one-person household. The rest will be for those at 60% to 80% AMI, or a person making between $33,600 and $44,800. Current residents can continue living at the building after renovations.