Detroit to Add, Preserve 300 Affordable Housing Units in Brush Park, North End, and More

Nearly 300 units of affordable housing will be built or preserved in the city of Detroit now that they have received Low Income Housing Tax Credit awards from the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority.
Brush Watson
The Brush Watson project will offer 310 units, 163 of which will be affordable. // Rendering courtesy of the city of Detroit

Nearly 400 units of affordable housing will be built or preserved in the city of Detroit now that they have received Low Income Housing Tax Credit awards from the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority.

Together, the five projects will create or preserve 396 units of affording housing for residents earning as little as $16,000 per year up to $42,000 per year. Three of the projects will be new construction, creating 271 units, while two others will renovate 125 units in existing buildings.

“We’ve made a serious commitment to our longtime residents that they will not be pushed out of their homes as our city redevelops, and that there will be housing options for people of all income levels, even in some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.  “I am deeply grateful to our partners and HUD and MSHDA for their confidence in our housing strategy and their support for these important projects.”

The largest of the projects is Brush Watson in the historic Brush Park neighborhood immediately north of City Modern. It is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the city, and 163 of the building’s 310 units will be affordable. The mixed-use project will include three buildings that will encompass a city block and include about 8,000 square feet of commercial space along Brush Street. There will also be underground parking for residents. The project represents a $65 million investment.

Of the units in the building, 90 will be reserved for residents earning incomes of $16,000-$28,000 per year. Rent for the units will start at around $400 units per month. Another 70 units will be reserved for residents earning about $42,000 per year with rent at about $1,000 per month. Rental assistance will be available for some units.

Detroit’s American Community Developers Inc. is developing the project with partner Irvin Reid, former president of Wayne State University.

“We are proud to be creating more quality housing for Detroiters in one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods,” says Jerry Krueger, president of American Community Developers. “Our goal is to build housing that is both high quality and affordable. We want to thank the city and our partners for believing in this project, one we think will make all Detroiters proud.”

Another new construction, the Jim Holley Residences, will offer 60 units, all of which will be affordable. The building will include 5,000 square feet of commercial space and be located at 9001 Woodward Ave. Work on the $17.8 million project is expected to begin in the spring and take 14-15 months to complete. The city is supporting the project with a $2 million HOME award. MHT Housing of Bingham Farms is serving as the developer.

“The Rev. Jim Holley Senior Residences is a manifestation of our commitment to the North End and the city of Detroit,” says Rev. Holley, a longtime local church leader and the building’s namesake.  “The North End has become a livable place because Little Rock led the vision and made it possible for others to believe again that the city can be a place to grow up and grow old.”

The final new construction project will create housing on what was once left field of Tiger Stadium in Corktown, located at the Fisher Freeway service drive and Cochrane Street. The Left Field development will include a mix of market rate and affordable apartments across 120 total units. American Community Developers is developing the project. The first phase includes 60 units, 48 of which are to be set aside as affordable housing, with rental assistance available for some of the units. Work is expected to begin next summer, and the total investment will be $15 million.

Midtown Square, a historic apartment building located at 93 Seward in New Center, was built in the late 1920s. The redevelopment is being completed by John Stanley and Develop Detroit. All 73 units will remain affordable, and the total investment will be $18.5 million.

Friendship Meadows II is a senior housing complex at 1003 Leland St. in Detroit’s Forest Park neighborhood. It was built in the early 2000s and will be redeveloped by Robert Beale. Its 52 units will remain affordable. The total investment is $6.6 million.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a federal program administered in Michigan by the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority that helps fund the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for households between 30 percent and 80 percent of the area median income, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The city’s Housing and Revitalization Department subsidized all of the new construction projects and worked on permitting and applications. The department has helped create or preserve 785 units this year and has started work on an additional 80.

“I would like to thank MSHDA and our development partners for their commitments to creating and preserving affordable housing in Detroit,” says Donald Rencher, director of the Housing and Revitalization Department. “Our department is dedicated to ensuring that development in our city creates equity and opportunity and that our city’s neighborhoods are welcoming, inclusive places for all.”