Greater Corktown: HUD Choice Neighborhoods Update Meeting
The City of Detroit has applied for a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) grant to preserve housing affordability and construct new affordable housing throughout Historic and North Corktown. Detroit's application focuses on the redevelopment of Clement Kern Gardens, a publicly assisted property on Bagley Street between Trumbull Avenue and Rosa Parks Boulevard. With the redevelopment, Clement Kern Gardens will provide new affordable, rent-assisted units for its current residents, as well as an additional number of rental units that will be offered at varying rent levels.
Spearheaded by the Housing & Revitalization and Planning & Development departments, the City submitted its Choice Neighborhoods application to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development on Dec. 16. HUD will notify the City if it has been selected as a finalist by Spring 2021.
The City has spent the last year collaborating with current Clement Kern Gardens residents to understand their needs and create a shared vision for their future housing and community.
Along with new housing and neighborhood improvements, the CNI grant would also help fund supportive services for the current residents of Clement Kern Gardens. These services would center on improving educational outcomes for children, helping households lead healthy lives, and connecting residents to job training and employment opportunities.
Through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), cities leverage public and private dollars to develop strategies to address distressed public or HUD-assisted housing. The highly competitive grant program brings together residents, local leaders, and a vast array of other stakeholders to create and implement a neighborhood Transformation Plan that is focused on Housing, People, and Neighborhoods. Regardless of whether Detroit is awarded the CNI grant, the City will move forward with the overall transformation plan to create a successful, sustainable neighborhood in Corktown that is affordable to all families to live, work, and play.
The Neighborhood Strategy will execute several Critical Community Improvements and additional neighborhood improvement projects in Greater Corktown that will:
The People Strategy will provide supportive services to the current residents of Clement Kern Gardens to improve educational outcomes, household health, and economic self-sufficiency. The Plan was developed in collaboration with residents, based on their expressed needs and aspirations, as well as in-depth resident surveys.
The goals of the People Strategy are that:
With the Choice Neighborhoods Grant, Clement Kern Gardens residents will have dedicated Case Management to connect them with supportive services, offered by over 30 partners.
The Clement Kern Gardens Affordable Housing Development is named in honor of Father Clement Kern, who served the local neighborhood parish, Most Holy Trinity, for 34 years. Due to his lifelong commitment as a community advocate for the Corktown neighborhood, he was immortalized with a statue that is located at Bagley St. and Trumbull Ave.
The affordable housing development was constructed in 1985 on residential land that was cleared and reserved for industrial development. In the 1950s during the era of Urban Renewal, the City Planning Commission condemned much of the Historic Corktown neighborhood as “slums.” The area of the neighborhood between Bagley St. and the Detroit Riverfront was cleared and renamed “Westside Industrial.” One of the first major projects constructed was the Holiday Inn Downtown, which is now named the Trumbull & Porter Hotel. While much of Westside Industrial project attracted new industrial development, the site directly north of the Holiday Inn laid vacant. This site was later developed into low income and senior housing and named Clement Kern Gardens.
The Westside Industrial project created “superblocks” which disrupted the historical street grid of the neighborhood. Clement Kern Gardens was constructed on one of these superblocks, featuring 87 housing units over 7 acres. This site plan limits pedestrian connectivity and neighborhood cohesion. Segregated by design, Clement Kern Gardens functions like an isolated gated community where the residents are disconnected from the Historic Corktown neighborhood.
It is important to the City of Detroit that the continued revitalization of Detroit include its lifetime residents. As part of the CNI process, the residents of Clement Kern Gardens have been engaged to provide input on the City's application through in-person meetings, door-to-door canvassing, phone interviews, mailings, and surveys.
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May 2020 edition of the Clement Kern Gardens Community Newsletter
August 2020 edition of the Clement Kern Gardens Community Newsletter
September 2020 edition of the Clement Kern Gardens Community Newsletter
March 5th 2020 | 5:30PM - 7:00PM
August 25th 2020
January 14th 2020
The Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan was developed with input from both residents of Clement Kern Gardens, through targeted outreach, surveys, and meetings, and the broader Greater Corktown Community, through the Greater Corktown Framework Plan and MI Central Station Community Benefits processes.
The Housing Strategy builds a neighborhood where high-quality, accessible, and diverse housing options are affordable to households of all incomes.
To support the vision for Greater Corktown, the City has identified Critical Community Improvements and additional projects that will enhance public spaces, create safer and more accessible streets, increase resident access to services and community supports, and position Corktown to become one of the City’s most sustainable and resilient neighborhoods.
If the City is awarded the Choice Neighborhoods grant, the Transformation Plan will also provide supportive services to the current residents of Clement Kern Gardens.
Current list of partners