Detroit announces $203M affordable housing plan to address housing insecurity: What to know

The investment is for 2022

DETROIT – Officials announced a $203 million affordable housing plan to address housing insecurity in Detroit.

The plan was created over several weeks in meetings between Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, councilmembers Mary Waters, Angela Calloway, Latisha Johnson and Detroit housing staff.

The plan includes turning long-vacant apartment buildings and Land Bank homes into affordable rental housing, creating additional housing support resources, mortgage down-payment assistance to increase home ownership and more.

The $203 million investment is for 2022 and is on top of affordable housing initiatives announced in the past. It does not include future annual allocations for affordable housing and preservation in Detroit.

City officials break down the 7 pieces of the plan

Below is a breakdown of the plan provided by Duggan’s office.

1. Detroit housing services receives $20 million in ARPA funds

A central Detroit Housing Services division will be established bringing a range of services to Detroiters most at-risk and in greatest need. This new division will include a network of at least six Neighborhood Housing Services centers run by nonprofit providers that will serve as one-stop-shop resources to connect current and future Detroit homeowners with a full range of programs, including housing counseling and foreclosure prevention services. A new hotline also will offer assistance for those looking to avoid housing displacement, as well as emergency response for those facing immediate homelessness, and connections to additional housing resources.

“The new Housing Services division will be building internal capacity to assist residents directly, and also working with our nonprofit partners to get more resources into the hands of more people who need them,” said David Bowser, associate director of Housing & Neighborhood Services for the City’s Housing Revitalization Department. “HRD is dedicated to not only creating and preserving affordable housing, but guiding Detroit residents to housing resources, addressing homelessness and the housing issues that could lead to homelessness, and making sure that residents are connected to the tools and assistance programs available to them.”

2. Detroit Housing Commission apartment building rehabs ($20M in DHC funds)

The Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) will use $20 million from selling the Brewster-Douglass site on acquiring 10 to 12 vacant apartment buildings in neighborhoods across the city, rehabbing them, and then leasing units at deeply affordable rates of 30 percent AMI. Today’s announcement was held in front of a vacant, City-owned apartment building on Tyler near Davison and Linwood in Council District 2, one of the multifamily structures that the DHC is considering renovating for new affordable housing as part of the housing plan’s seven initiatives. The building, dating to 1929, has been a vacant blight on the Dexter-Linwood community for years.

“We know that many for-profit developers aren’t tackling these smaller buildings of 20 or 30 units, so this initiative will restore these neighborhood eyesores that dot our city into beautiful, deeply affordable housing,” said Sandra Henriquez, CEO of the DHC.

3. Detroit Land Bank affordable home program ($3M in ARPA funds)

This initiative will begin with 20 to 50 Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA)-owned homes that will be sold to local community development organizations (CDOs), which will use City subsidies to rehab the properties. The properties will then be rented for at least 10 years at 50 percent to 60 percent area median income (AMI), rates that are considered deeply affordable, with the option for the renter to buy the property and become a homeowner.

“The DLBA is excited to partner with the City and CDOs on this creative opportunity to add deeply affordable housing in Detroit’s neighborhoods,” said Tammy Daniels, DLBA chief executive officer. “We know that many Detroiters need options beyond the small apartments traditionally offered as affordable units, and using Land Bank houses gives families flexibility and room to grow.”

4. More affordable housing and expedited approval process ($132M in ARPA and state and federal funds)

The City Council will work with the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department to streamline the process for Council to approve affordable housing developments that include units to be rented at 60 percent AMI or below. The current process often requires nine steps or more to get Council approval. In addition to speeding up the process, the plan calls for the funding of 1,600 new affordable housing units across at least 30 individual developments, with 250 of the units designated as permanent supportive housing with a range of services available to Detroiters who are transitioning out of homelessness.

5. Down-payment and homeowner assistance programs ($13 million in ARPA funds)

This program will help 600 Detroiters who currently rent become homeowners through a down-payment assistance program. A third of those helped will receive funding and support to transition to owning the homes they are now renting through capital improvements and homeownership counseling. The remainder will receive down-payment assistance to buy homes that they aren’t currently renting.

6. Programs to bring more than 1,000 rental units into compliance ($5 million in ARPA funds)

Through a suite of programs, $5 million in funding will be used to bring rental units into compliance with rental codes so that Detroit renters get the quality units that they deserve and that the City requires. A second-floor rental rehab program will transform vacant second-story apartment units located in commercial corridors into affordable housing. Property management and improvement training programs will be offered to small-scale landlords, who will then be eligible to apply for matching grants to renovate their properties and bring them into compliance with the rental registration ordinance.

7. Self-sufficiency support for those facing rising rents ($10 million in ARPA funds)

With rents increasing as demand for housing in the city increases, the City of Detroit’s Detroit at Work program can help residents through immediate placement in good-paying jobs or in “earn to learn” programs, including literacy and GED programs.

You can learn more about the plan by clicking here.,

What officials are saying about the affordable housing plan

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.