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City of Detroit adding hundreds of affordable senior living spaces

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 09:42:24-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Luz Robinson now calls the Village of Oakman Manor home. The community is one of 12 in Detroit that was developed and operated by Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, offering independent and affordable senior living.

“I am on a fixed income and I like the building here, it’s very secure, very quiet, very clean and the rent is affordable," Robinson said.

Affordability is a key for many seniors.

"I think the city could really use more housing that’s on a good level, definitely," Dell Subblefield said.

It's now coming. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced seven low-income housing tax credit awards from the State of Michigan.

The announcement of more than $74 million of Housing and Urban Development funding came in front of the former Lewis College of Business, Michigan's only Historically Black College and University.

“Honoring that legacy is something we’re committed to doing and we’re going to do it in a variety of ways, including the naming of this community," Roger Myers said.

The two former campus buildings on Myers will be turned into low-income senior housing, along with the construction of a new, four-story building on the site. In all, 105 units will be added as part of a $20 million project.

There will also be an additional 517 units of affordable housing developed in neighborhoods across the city.

“We want to make sure there’s a space for our low-income residents to have an opportunity to live there too," Donald Rencher said. "And I think overall it makes a better neighborhood, a better building, it makes a better block, and it makes us a better city.”

In The District Detroit, the Ilitch Organization's Olympia Development is partnering with Cinnaire Solutions to redevelop seven historic buildings on Henry St.

“This project is going to create an opportunity for mixed-income, for 170 units with 84 being affordable for those whose income are low to moderate," Lucius Vassar said.

“Affordable housing is so important for the current generation, the next generation of seniors. Unfortunately, traditional pension plans went away, baby boomers were not great savers and so the necessity of affordable housing is more important any previous generation," Myers said.