Detroit’s $7 million development lifts affordable housing units, while bringing job seekers, employers and service providers closer together

Detroit’s $7 million development lifts affordable housing units, while bringing job seekers, employers and service providers closer together
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With its groundbreaking today, the $7 million North End affordable neighborhood housing development announced by Central City Integrated Health (CCIH), along with Mayor Duggan, other City of Detroit officials and community members, signals that the city is one step closer to its goal of becoming a “city for everyone.”

The now-vacant Saint Rita Apartments, which has sat empty for more than a decade, will be transformed into 26 state-of-the-art, 750-square-foot one-bedroom apartments for homeless individuals—Detroit residents with special needs. Homeless veterans will be given first priority at the building when it opens a year from now.

The big news?

One hundred percent of the units will be reserved for those making less than 30 percent of the area median income and struggling with homelessness.

That means individuals making about $14,000 a year will qualify for affordable housing in Detroit’s hottest residential district.

Within walking distance of many shops and restaurants, Saint Rita Apartments dwellers should be in a better position to land jobs within close proximity of their homes.

The building will have on-site supportive services to help ensure residents receive the critical supports and assistance needed to not only maintain their housing status, but also to positively contribute to the community.

In addition to the 26 one-bedroom units for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements, Saint Rita Apartments will feature amenities such as a community room, computer lab, library, and a common laundry room.

Central City Integrated Health CEO Ryan Lepper is bringing affordable housing to residents who need it most. Photo courtesy of CCIH

“This new development will bring additional affordable housing to an area of Detroit where it is sorely needed,” says Ryan Lepper, CCIH President and CEO. “The availability of safe, affordable housing is a basic need that is sometimes elusive to our most vulnerable populations and is a major part of our mission to provide holistic, wraparound care to those Detroit residents with special needs.”

Funding for this development has been provided through a combination of tax credits, loans and project-based Section 8 vouchers. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority awarded CCIH with low-income tax credits and the vouchers. Cinnaire, a full-service community development financial partner that supports community stabilization and economic development, has purchased the low-income and historic tax credits and is serving as CCIH’s investor and limited partner on the project. Additionally, the City of Detroit has provided more than $1.3 million of Home Funds.

“The Saint Rita project shows that as Detroit comes back, there is room for everyone,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “It is especially important that we look after our homeless veterans, and others struggling with homelessness. This building will help fill a critical need.”

CCIH is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides evidence-based medical and behavioral health treatment and services in tandem with creating housing opportunities to Detroit’s most vulnerable populations to reduce barriers in health equity. For veterans, services include trauma-informed care, employment, training, and community-based support. Increasing affordable housing in Detroit is an integral part of CCIH’s mission. The organization currently provides approximately 345 housing units to the homeless and special needs residents through Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) project-based vouchers and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-funded permanent supported housing grants.

Mayor Mike Duggan says that the Saint Rita project shows that as Detroit comes back, there is “room for everyone.” Photo courtesy City of Detroit

Saint Rita Apartments will be CCIH’s fourth affordable housing development and the second specifically for veterans. The others owned and operated by CCIH include Peterboro Place, Clinton House Apartments, and Charlotte Apartments, which opened last year, and offers 27 units for Detroit veterans, homeless individuals, and people with special needs.

Joseph Early of Early Construction is the general contractor, with Bob Zinser serving as development consultant for the Saint Rita Apartments renovation. Construction on the 31,467-square-foot, six-story building is now underway and is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2018.

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