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City proposes transferring 400 vacant housing units to strengthen Detroit neighborhoods

Move would create redevelopment opportunities, strengthen several neighborhoods

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DETROIT – The city of Detroit is proposing a transfer of nearly 400 vacant public housing units from the Detroit Housing Commission to create redevelopment opportunities and strengthen several neighborhoods.

The city said the deal would create more housing and rental assistance for residents making 30-50 percent of the area median income through redevelopment of apartment buildings.

The 385 units include Lee Plaza, Woodland Apartments and more than 100 single-family homes, city officials said.

The transaction would put Detroit Housing Commission on the path to become a high-performing commission in 2018, officials said.

The DHC would use the capital from the transaction to rehabilitate developments like Parkview in District 4, further ensuring a high-performer designation for 2018, officials said.

The designation would also give the commission access to new flexibility and funding to support low-income Detroiters and could help the city apply for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Moving to Work program.

Moving to Work gives the commission the ability to create an additional 1,000 vouchers in annual rental assistance. A high-performing status also improves the commission's competitiveness for public housing revitalization programs, such as the Choice Neighborhoods grant implementation program.