Historic Saint Rita apartment building in Detroit transformed into new affordable housing units

Building empty since 2005

DETROIT – The Saint Rita, an old apartment building in Detroit, is getting turned into affordable housing.

Nathanial Smith is an Army veteran who currently stays at the Volunteers of America, but he's excited because soon he will move into a new apartment.

"It's impressive. I'm looking at the work and everything that's gone into it and it's really nice," Smith said.

The historic apartments went from run down to a modern jewel in Detroit's north end. After a long renovation funded with tax credits loans and grants it's been targeted as affordable housing for people who are homeless, especially military veterans.

The 103-year-old building has been empty since 2005, when a fire left it on the city's long list of buildings that were in limbo.

"At first, we thought we were going to have to knock it down, but then we got inside and saw it was structurally sound. We said this would be an ideal location for our next permanent supportive housing site," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

The apartment building will consist of 26 one-bedroom units which are each 750 square feet in size. There will also be on-site help for the residents to help them get back on their feet.

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