$12.1M in funding will help ensure completion of affordable housing in Detroit

Mackenzie Thompson
The Detroit News

The city of Detroit has secured $12.1 million in funding that it says will help ensure nearly 500 units of affordable housing will be completed in the city.

“We have an urgent affordable housing problem in the city, we know that," Mayor Mike Duggan said Wednesday at a press conference with state officials and developers to announce the support provided by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. "And we're not going to talk about it, we're going to act, and this is the kind of action we need."

The need for additional funding arose when housing already in development was at risk of stopping or scaling down due to escalating construction costs, according to the city.

“As a nation we are seeing a high cost of construction increasing nationally, there's a national labor shortage, and all of this is playing a role in being able to properly develop affordable housing not only In Detroit, but in our country,” Council President Mary Sheffield said.  

Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials on Wednesday announced additional funding for affordable housing in Detroit at the building site of the Brush Watson development.

Six projects are now on track to be completed:

*150 affordable units at 7580 E. Jefferson (expected to break ground later this year)

*160 affordable units at Brush Watson (expected to be completed at the end of 2023)

*48 affordable units at Left Field (expected to break ground next month)

*42 affordable units at Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center (expected to open this fall) 

*44 affordable units at Anchor at Mariners Inn (expected to break ground by the end of the year)

*42 affordable units at La Joya Gardens (expected to break ground later this year) 

Out of 308 units in the planned Brush Watson development, 160 are designated as affordable housing. Construction is expected to be complete late next year.

The city's goal of creating 2,000 new affordable housing units will be close to reached after the 486 units are complete. 

American Community Developers is building the Brush Watson development in Brush Park, which is where Wednesday's press conference was held. Out of 308 units in the development, 160 are designated as affordable housing.

Jerry Krueger, president of American Community Developers, said in a news release from the city that the project had been at risk, given the increase in construction costs: “It would have been devastating if we had not received the additional assistance."

Because the projects are receiving financial support from the city, 20% of the units are required to be reserved for people earning below the area median income. 

Rent for the Brush Watson apartment units will start at rates as low as $503 a month.