New affordable housing unit opens in Oakland County after thieves steal air conditioners

$80,000 loss reported following theft

OAK PARK, Mich. – Wednesday was a special day for the people of nonprofit Lighthouse of Oakland County as they cut the ribbon on Coolidge Place in Oak Park.

Lighthouse meets the needs of the community by providing affordable housing. Construction on Coolidge Place began in 2019, and all of the 64 units are now occupied.

However, thieves have targeted the complex.

“For somebody to steal 22 air conditioning condensers, it’s just really a shame. We’re very disappointed to face that setback so early on and folks finding their new home here,” said Ryan Hertz, president and CEO of Lighthouse.

The theft resulted in an $80,000 loss -- $50,000 in damages and $30,000 in replacement.

“The good news is our property management team’s on top of it, they’re working to replace the units as quickly as possible,” Hertz said.

Jajuan Spencer’s air conditioning unit was not stolen, but he and others did not let the recent theft stop Wednesday’s celebration. Having affordable housing gives Spencer a place of his own to call home.

“It’s peace, quiet. I’m close to my family,” he said.

“It’s 100 percent of the folks in our communities who deserve to be invested in,” Hertz said.

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About the Author:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.