Win-Win: Vacant commercial space being converted into low-cost housing
In collaboration with the City of Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD), the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) announced Jan. 25 the start of its Second-Floor Residential Grant Program, which aims to convert vacant, second-floor space above commercial spaces into affordable apartment units in Southwest Detroit.
The program, which will reimburse property owners up to $10,000 for performing eligible improvements on their unused second-floor apartments, is expected to result in 24 new affordable housing units. Property owners can apply now until 5 p.m. March 31.
“At the City of Detroit, we are always looking for ways to create affordable housing and opportunities for Detroiters,” said Julie Schneider, director of HRD. “This great program does both, by converting unused space into affordable places for Detroiters to live, reinvigorating our commercial corridors and helping to stabilize income for local property owners.”
The funding allocated by the City of Detroit is part of the $203 million housing plan announced in July by Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council members as part of an effort to increase the number of code-compliant, naturally occurring affordable rental housing units.
Eligible properties must have unused second-floor apartments located above ground-floor commercial space. They also must be located within the geographic boundaries of West Vernor Highway from Woodmere to 15th Street; Springwells Street from West Vernor to the West Fisher Service Drive; Junction from Michigan Avenue to Konkel Street; and Bagley Avenue from the West Fisher Service Drive to 25th Street. Anticipated rental rates for apartments are $780-$1,250, making them affordable to residents earning between 50 percent and 80 percent of area median income.
More information can be found at www.southwestdetroit.com.
Thank you to Michael Odom of Marx Layne & Company for contributing this article to SocialHouseNews.com, southeast Michigan’s No. 1 source for good-news-only content.