DBusiness Daily Update: State Invests $13M+ in 14 Affordable Housing Projects, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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The state of Michigan has awarded more than $13 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to 14 affordable housing projects around the state. // Stock photo
The state of Michigan has awarded more than $13 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to 14 affordable housing projects around the state. // Stock photo

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

State Invests $13M+ in 14 Affordable Housing Projects

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) awarded more than $13 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to 14 affordable housing projects around the state.

The funds will be used to build new affordable multifamily rental housing or to rehabilitate existing properties. This funding round will support the construction or renovation of 690 affordable housing units in rural and urban communities across the state.

“Investments in housing help us put Michiganders first and are critical to furthering our economic momentum,” says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “When families have a place to call home, it leads to upward mobility, a higher quality of life, and thriving communities.

“This program helps us lower costs for working families by providing housing stability and opportunity. These awards will help us get a jump on my ambitious MI New Economy plan goal of creating 75,000 new or rehabilitated housing units within the next five years.”

LIHTC are federal tax credits administered through MSHDA following a competitive application process. Developers who receive LIHTC awards can claim credits against their tax liability annually for up to 10 years, incentivizing investments in affordable housing in local communities.

“Not only will these 14 projects provide greater access to affordable housing for Michigan families, but they will also stimulate local economic growth and bring us even closer to the goal of providing every Michigander with access to safe, quality, affordable housing,” says Chad Benson, rental development director at MSHDA.

The development projects receiving LIHTC awards include:

  • Lee Plaza, Detroit, $1.5 million, 52 units
  • 1900 Cedar Development, Lansing, $1.5 million, 52 units
  • Orchard Manor Apartments, Flint, $779,625, 34 units
  • 700 E. Court Street Village, Flint, $1.5 million, 119 units
  • The Blackstone, Jackson, $1.192 million, 53 units
  • Lake Huron Woods Phase 2 Apartments, Fort Gratiot Township, $1,181,252, 45 units
  • Lexington School Apartments, Grand Rapids, $874,283, 39 units
  • MoTown Square Affordable Assisted Living, Grand Rapids, $1,337,120, 54 units
  • Center City Lofts, Midland, $1,138,000, 55 units
  • GTB LIHTC No. 1, Garfield Township, $638,539, 36 units
  • West Belding, Belding, $444,584, 48 units
  • Bramblewood Apartments, Lenox Township, $298,676, 32 units
  • Remus Apartments, Remus, $397,892, 47 units
  • Perry Acres, Lenox Township, $250,118, 24 units

Michigan’s ‘Going PRO Talent Fund’ Awards $3.4M to Oakland County

A record 125 Oakland County employers will share $3.4 million in Going Pro Talent Fund grants awarded by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity this week.

The grants will allow the employers to hire and train 1,342 new employees, expand the skills of 1,281 existing workers, and create 77 new registered apprenticeships during fiscal year 2022.

A total of $37.5 million in Going Pro Talent Fund grants were awarded across the state this year, benefiting 30,000 workers at more than 1,000 businesses. Since the program’s inception in 2014, the Going PRO Talent Fund has benefited more than 5,300 businesses and 124,000 workers.

“The Going PRO Talent fund program has such great potential to help more 2,700 workers in Oakland County gain valuable skills that will lead to good-paying jobs and satisfying careers,” says Dave Coulter, Oakland County executive. “At the same time, the training funds will help local employers address the worker shortages problems they’re experiencing and allow them to recover more quickly from the COVID pandemic.”

Oakland County employers have received $10.9 million in Going Pro Talent Fund grants since the program’s launch, helping 476 county employers of all sizes.

Full list of recipients, visit here.

Auburn Hills’ Henniges Automotive Donates Truck to Habitat for Humanity

Henniges Automotive, a sealing solutions provider in Auburn Hills, has donated an Isuzu box truck to Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County. The truck will be utilized by the affiliate’s ReStore operations.

The company has donated nearly $200,000 to the Habitat Oakland affiliate since its partnership began in 2016.

“Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is critical to our mission at Henniges,” says Larry Williams, CEO of Henniges. “Our partnership with Habitat Oakland has been a meaningful and rewarding experience for all of our employees.”

Habitat ReStores are home improvement outlets and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture and appliances, cabinets, paint, and other renovation items to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Located in Waterford and Farmington Hills, all proceeds from the stores fuel Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities, and hope in Oakland County.

The box truck will be used for donation pick-ups throughout the county.

Teri Lynn Dennings Appointed to Circuit Court Bench

Teri Lynn Dennings has been appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to replace Judge Mark Switalski on the 16th Judicial Circuit Court bench. Switalski is retiring.

Dennings will fill a partial term expiring on Jan. 1, 2023. To fill out the remainder of the term, she will run for reelection in November of 2022.

Dennings earned her juris doctor from Wayne State University Law School, and her bachelor’s degree in political science and African American studies at Eastern Michigan University. Dennings currently is the employment and employee benefits attorney for Consumers Energy.

“On behalf of the entire Circuit Court Bench, I want to extend a warm welcome to Judge Dennings,” says Chief Judge James Biernat. “I believe her experience and dedication to an accessible justice system will serve the citizens of Macomb County well.”

Salvation Army Falling Short of $8.3M Fundraising Goal

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is reporting it is 14 percent down, more than $900,000, in red kettle donations this year, as contributions are falling short of the nonprofit’s $8.3 million fundraising goal for the 2021 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign.

Red kettle donations account for more than one-third of all Red Kettle Christmas Campaign contributions and many kettles are going unmanned due to volunteer and frontline worker shortages.

Now through Dec. 31, all donations up to $530,000 made to the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign will be doubled and fully matched, dollar-for-dollar, thanks to The Consortium of Hope. This applies to gifts made to physical or virtual red kettles, as well as text-to-give, phone and online donations.

Salvation Army supporters can donate by texting GIFT to 24365, visiting here or a physical red kettle, calling 877-SAL-MICH, or sending a check, made payable to The Salvation Army, to: 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075

The Salvation Army also encourages individuals and families to sign up as volunteer bell ringers by visiting registertoring.com, where they have an option to host a virtual red kettle and raise funds in the comfort of their own home. Bell ringing runs through Christmas Eve.

“I am putting out a plea to our community: In the coming days, if you cannot find a manned red kettle in your neighborhood, please give through our website, text to give, mail a check, or call,” says Lt. Col. John Turner, divisional commander and regional CEO for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “Now more than ever, we are counting on the generosity of metro Detroiters to help provide assistance in the community, not only during Christmas, but throughout the entire year.”

Michigan Pork Producers and Colleagues #GiveAHam

The Michigan Pork Producers Association have joined the National Pork Producers Council’s “Give-a-Ham” challenge, a national social media campaign encouraging hog farmers and those involved in the industry to donate pork to organizations serving the food insecure, and challenging others to follow suit.

MPPA partnered with the Michigan Agribusiness Association and Michigan Soybean Committee to collect hams and financial support to donate to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

Through donations made from many Michigan agricultural industry members, more than $1,800 and 250 pounds of ham were donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank this holiday season.

“With so many Americans’ struggling with financial challenges following the COVID pandemic, this year’s ‘Give-a-Ham’ challenge takes on special meaning,” says Mary Kelpinski, CEO of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. “Giving back to our communities is a core value of hog farmers nationwide; it’s gratifying to come together as an industry this time of year to serve those in need.”

DNR Reaches Snowmobile Trail-grooming Agreement for Eastern UP Trails

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Straits Area Snowmobile Club have reached a grant agreement for trail grooming more than 101 miles of state-managed trails in the southeastern Upper Peninsula.

Recently, the DNR alerted snowmobilers to avoid the area as trails would not be groomed indefinitely while an agreement was being discussed. Since then, the club’s leadership has reorganized, and trails will be groomed as soon as there is enough snow available on the trails.

“We thank past club leadership for their time and considerable effort over many years to keep snowmobile trails in this part of the Upper Peninsula groomed and open for riders,” says Ron Yesney, U.P. trails coordinator with the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division trails section. “New leadership and membership stepped up in the club, which has made this new agreement and trail grooming possible. We thank those club members as well.”

The affected trails are in Mackinac and Chippewa counties, connecting the communities of St. Ignace, Trout Lake, and Epoufette.

In addition to registering a snowmobile at the Secretary of State, residents and nonresidents who operate a snowmobile in Michigan are required to purchase a snowmobile trail permit.

The trail permit enables snowmobilers to ride state-managed trails and public roads and public lands (where authorized). It is valid for one year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30 of the following year. State-designated trails are open Dec. 1 through March 31 and grooming occurs when there is enough snow on the ground.

For more information on snowmobiling in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/Snowmobiling.

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