2nd completed Detroit Housing for the Future Fund project both preserves, adds new affordable housing to Midtown


2nd completed Detroit Housing for the Future Fund project both preserves, adds new affordable housing to Midtown

  • Mayor Duggan, Council President Sheffield join LISC Detroit and developer to celebrate completion of $2.9M renovation to The Belnord, offering 29 units at affordable rates, some as low as 50% area median income.
  • Project is among seven funded by DHFF since fund’s inception in fall 2020.

DETROIT – Mayor Mike Duggan, Council President Mary Sheffield and LISC Detroit joined developer JacobsStreet LLC today to celebrate the opening of the latest affordable housing development to tap the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF), which helps developers bridge financial gaps in their efforts to create and renovate quality affordable housing options in neighborhoods across the city.

The Belnord, a historic apartment building at 324 Hendrie St. at Brush in District 5, has been renovated by developer Ed Siegel’s Detroit-based JacobsStreet LLC. The $2.9 million renovation was made possible by a $2.46 million loan from DHFF. The scope included full renovations to the 24 existing units and converting 3,000 square feet of ground-floor space into five new garden-level units. It also included upgrading the electric, plumbing and HVAC systems; replacement of the roof; improvements to the common areas; and other work. No current residents were displaced during the work, and all of them can continue living at The Belnord after the renovations. In addition, the affordability on all the apartments has been extended for at least the next 14 years.

All 29 units in the 26,652-square-foot building are affordable, with two apartments at or below 50 percent area median income (AMI), 16 at or below 60 percent AMI, and the remainder at or below 80 percent AMI. This means the housing is targeted at Detroiters making between $31,350 and $50,160. Rents start at about $700 and average less than $1,100. The building offers 19 one-bedroom apartments, seven two-bedrooms and three three-bedrooms.

“All over the city, including here in Midtown, we are creating and preserving quality affordable housing that Detroiters can afford to call home,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund is a key tool in our efforts of providing places for Detroiters to live where they want to be, and to getting a number of our smaller apartment buildings like the Belnord renovated without forcing residents out because of rent increases.” 

Siegel, a licensed residential builder, is also the majority owner of JSS Construction LLC, which he founded in 2020. His current and past projects have also been concentrated in Milwaukee Junction, as well as Islandview/Greater Villages.

“I am thankful and appreciative of the City of Detroit, LISC Detroit and the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund for creating another mechanism to create and maintain affordable housing in our city,” said Siegel, JacobsStreet LLC principal. “The funding allowed us to activate down units, repair some deferred maintenance and keep the units affordable in a location that has excellent access to major employment centers.”

The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund, a private investment fund aimed at directing capital to affordable housing in Detroit, is anchored by a $15 million commitment from JPMorgan Chase of its total $58 million raise and a $10 million guarantee from The Kresge Foundation. DHFF is managed by LISC Detroit and LISC Strategic Investments, and is a part of the larger Affordable Housing Leverage Fund, which is an initiative with the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department.

“The creation and preservation of housing affordability in Detroit is critical and one of our key initiatives,” said Camille Walker Banks, executive director of LISC Detroit. “Our motivation for preserving affordable housing is the impact made on an individual household, neighborhood and community level.  The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund is a valuable safeguard and resource particularly during a time of rising housing costs and inflation, as well as stagnate or shrinking incomes. It is crucial, today at this moment, to ensure that Detroit remains a place where we all can afford to call home and live in quality housing.”

The Belnord is just south of the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, which LISC Detroit has targeted for economic investment through the implementation of an adaptive-reuse strategy along an industrial corridor finalized in 2019.

Opened in 1914, The Belnord was designed by the Detroit-based firm Pollmar & Ropes. When it opened, it was billed as "strictly high class." Thanks to the DHFF, Detroiters will continue to call the building home, and its affordability will be guaranteed for years to come.

“As an advocate for affordable housing, the push toward housing that is low-cost and economical throughout the city represents a commitment to safety and stability that all Detroiters deserve,” said Council President Sheffield. “Keeping residents in their homes and in the city they love has always been a priority of mine and it brings me joy to see it becoming a priority to developers and investment partners around Detroit."

7 DHFF projects – with more to come

The completion of the Belnord follows on the heels of the celebration of the first project the DHFF helped make a reality. The Charlotte – at 10210 Second Ave. at Glynn Court, in the Gateway Community in District 5 – opened earlier this month with 12 one-bedroom units, 13 two-bedrooms and three studios. All 28 units are reserved as affordable housing. Nine apartments are capped at 60% area median income (AMI), and the other 19 cannot exceed 80% AMI. However, the developers are charging rents that are closer to 55%-65%. They will charge $725-$940 for a studio (80% AMI is $1,254); $900-$1,075 (80% is $1,343) for a one-bedroom; and $1,250-$1,400 (80% is $1,612) for a two-bedroom. The Charlotte tapped the DHFF for a $2.55 million loan to turn the previously abandoned 1923-built, three-story apartment building into 28 quality affordable housing unit. The Charlotte renovation saw full rehabs to all units, a new roof, new windows, and a new HVAC system.

To date, seven DHFF projects have either been completed or are under construction, and several more are in the pipeline and will be announced soon.

“Ensuring that Detroiters have access to housing that is quality, safe and affordable is one of our department’s biggest goals,” said Julie Schneider, director of the Housing & Revitalization Department. “The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund is a key tool in tackling inequality and housing instability in our city. I would like to thank LISC and the fund’s corporate givers for helping us work toward a better Detroit for all Detroiters.”

For more information about the DHFF and the Developers of Color programs, go to www.detroithousingforthefuturefund.org.

About LISC Detroit

LISC Detroit is a local organization founded in 1990, within the Local Initiatives Support Corporation network that includes 38 offices in urban areas across the country as well as a rural office that serves more than 44 states. National LISC, founded in 1980, is the largest national community development financial intermediary, combining corporate, government, and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize their neighborhoods.

LISC’s mission is that every low-income community has the chance to thrive. LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. Working with local leaders we invest in housing, health, education, public safety and employment — all basic needs that must be tackled at once so that progress in one is not undermined by neglect in another. Sharing our expertise of 41 years, we bring together key local players to take on pressing challenges and incubate new solutions. With them, we help develop smarter public policy. Our toolkit is extensive. It includes loans, grants, equity investments and on-the-ground experience in some of America’s neediest neighborhoods.

About the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund

The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF) is a private investment fund launched in 2020 focused on investing in the development and preservation of affordable housing in Detroit.  The DHFF is managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Strategic Investments and LISC Detroit. DHFF was created in partnership with the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department as part of the Affordable Housing Leverage Fund (AHLF) initiative. The DHFF deploys flexible loan capital and private grants to complement and leverage public investment through the City of Detroit and Michigan State Housing Development Authority as well as tax credits and other existing affordable housing finance tools. 

For more information on the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund and funding opportunities, please visit https://www.detroithousingforthefuturefund.org/

For investor inquiries and more information about LISC Strategic Investments, please visit https://www.liscstrategicinvestments.org/detroit-housing-for-the-future-fund


The Belnord
The Belnord received a $2.9 million renovation, and all 29 of its units are affordable housing with rents at 50 percent to 80 percent area median income.