STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – A big project got underway on Friday (Oct. 1) in Sterling Heights and it was aimed at giving people more options for affordable housing.
The Chaldean Community Foundation broke ground Friday morning on a new apartment complex along Van Dyke Avenue between Clinton River Road and Utica Road.
The nonprofit wants to turn the site into a cultural destination and help those in need of affordable housing. The development will have 135 affordable apartments and 9,000 square feet of retail space.
“Having safe, affordable housing really improves your psyche, daily struggles are easy to deal with because you have a welcoming place,” Martin Manna, president of the Chaldean Community Foundation, said.
In 2013, Lilyan Khashola immigrated to the United States as a refugee from Iraq, along with her son and granddaughter. Her son died of MS a year later and she’s been raising her granddaughter ever since.
Sue Kattula is with the Chaldean Community Foundation. She translated for Lilyan.
“The waiting list everywhere is long. One place we tried to help Lilyan find told us it was a 10-year wait,” Kattula said.
The nonprofit serves about 50,000 people a year. Twenty percent are not Chaldean. The Chaldean Community Foundation raised $25 million for the project.
Planning for the affordable housing project has spanned several years because it’s located on the Clinton River flood plain.
A re-design had the building higher and it was approved by the state. It’s expected to be completed in 2023.