Mayor, CHN Housing Partners, and Detroit Blight Busters break ground on 48-unit affordable housing development
- Once completed, Orchard Village Apartments will bring 48 units of affordable housing to Northwest Detroit’s Old Redford Neighborhood
- All units will be rented to families earning between 30% and 60% of area median income
- Funding partners for the project include the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department, Churchill State Group, Flagstar Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, First Merchant's Bank and Cinnaire.
CHN Housing Partners (CHN) and Detroit Blight Busters (DBB) were joined today by Mayor Mike Duggan, City Council President Pro Tem James Tate and a host of city and state officials to break ground on Orchard Village Apartments, a 48-unit affordable housing development in Detroit’s Old Redford neighborhood. CHN and DBB are co-developers of Orchard Village Apartments, which will be located at 21566 Orchard Street and built on nine currently vacant lots two blocks off Lahser and Grand River.
Also joining at the event was the Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department, Representatives Stephanie Young and Laurie Pohutsky, Senator Mary Cavanagh, and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Executive Director Amy Hovey.
“We are proud to partner with a grassroots organization like Detroit Blight Busters to bring Orchard Village Apartments to Old Redford,” said Kevin Nowak, president and CEO of CHN Housing Partners. “With support from Mayor Duggan, Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department, City Council President Pro Tem Tate, and MSHDA, we are expanding access to affordable housing and creating safe and quality housing for Detroiters.”
Orchard Village Apartments received a competitive 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) award from MSHDA. The tax credit award will generate nearly $10.9 million of the development’s estimated $15.7 million cost.
"We understand the importance of developments like Orchard Village Apartments to Detroiters,” said MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey. “Affordable housing is key to strengthening Michigan’s families and communities.”
CHN Housing Partners will manage the property and employ an on-site manager. Orchard Village’s two-bedroom units will have central air conditioning, dishwashers, in-unit washers and dryers, on-site parking and other amenities. The complex will also include a community and business center for residents. The 100% affordable project will be for residents with qualifying income at 30% – 60% AMI. Expected rents will be between $492 and $915.
Last year, the City of Detroit unveiled a seven-point, $203 million plan – developed by Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit City Council Members Mary Waters, Latisha Johnson, Gabriela Santiago Romero, and Angela Whitfield-Calloway - to develop affordable housing options for Detroiters. American Rescue Plan Act funding will be used to support this project.
“The development is bringing true affordable housing to the Old Redford neighborhood at a time it is seeing tremendous revitalization,” said Mayor Duggan. “We are building a city where there is room for people of all incomes and I’m so proud of the work John George and his team are doing with CHN Housing Partners to create these 48 new units of affordable housing. That’s why the city is supporting this project with some of its ARPA funds.”
Residents will also have access to financial education and work readiness services provided by Southwest Economic Solutions. Job search assistance, resume support, and educational resources on how to budget and purchase a home will be available.
Orchard Village Apartments will be financed with a combination of City HOME and American Rescue Plan Act funding, federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC), a Federal Home Loan Bank grant, and a conventional loan. In addition to funding support from MSHDA and the City of Detroit, other critical funding partners include Churchill State Group, Flagstar Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, First Merchant's Bank and Cinnaire.
“We are proud to support the development of Orchard Village Apartments, which will reactivate nine long-vacant lots to directly meet the neighborhood’s expressed need for more high-quality affordable housing,” said Julie Schneider, director of the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department. “We are especially happy to partner with nonprofit organizations like Detroit Blight Busters and CHN Housing Partners in furthering our collective mission to ensure Detroit remains home to all households regardless of income.”
The City of Detroit’s Planning Commission identified affordable housing as a need in the Old Redford Neighborhood through its Grand River Northwest Framework Plan. Orchard Village Apartments was created through a City of Detroit request for proposal (RFP) to address this community need. The larger plan is a City-led neighborhood development strategy that has short and long-term strategies for housing and retail development, streetscapes, parks and green stormwater infrastructure.
“Over the past 35 years Blight Busters has been tearing down blighted homes that have been a danger to our community,” said John George, executive director of DBB. “Orchard Village is an opportunity to literally build up our community and take our work to the next level. It’s a full circle moment for us and we don’t intend to slow down.”
“Old Redford is a neighborhood supported by a deep network of neighbors and businesses. It is one of Detroit’s legacy communities where residents and retail never wavered," said Detroit City Council President Pro Tem James Tate. "Ensuring Old Redford continues to be a place where Detroiters call home guaranteeing they have access to quality affordable housing in D1 is so important. As we see more investments in Northwest Detroit, developments like Orchard Village Apartments will help ensure that Detroiters will be able to stay and be a part of its growth.”
CHN and Detroit Blight Busters joined Council President Pro Tem Tate in community meetings that informed the design of Orchard Village Apartments, ultimately leading the development team to design the complex as four separate buildings. Residents said that separate buildings would provide a more unique sense of place.
Construction and Next Steps for Orchard Village Apartments
Detroit Blight Busters and CHN Housing Partners chose LOHA Architects and JGJ Construction to bring the development to life. Construction will begin in August of 2023 and is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2024. Leasing applications for Orchard Village Apartments are anticipated to open in the Summer of 2024.
About CHN Housing Partners:
CHN Housing Partners was founded in 1981 and began working in Detroit in 2018. It is a large-scale affordable housing developer, residential lender and housing service provider that works with its partners to solve major housing challenges for low-income people and underserved communities. CHN also partners with people—low-income individuals, families, seniors, the disabled and those experiencing homelessness — to improve their housing stability and economic mobility. CHN’s impact in Cleveland includes 3,200 new homeowners, the housing stability services it provides annually to 60,000 individuals, and the development of 7,100 new homes. In Michigan, CHN continues to focus on the power of a permanent address by working with public and private partners to increase Detroit’s stock of affordable housing through development, preservation and property management. CHN also leverages its expertise in nonprofit coalition building by acting as the Network Manager for the Detroit Housing Network – an alliance of housing nonprofits that have come together to provide clear and equitable access to housing services in Detroit. Learn more at chnhousingpartners.org
About Detroit Blight Busters:
The Detroit Blight Busters was founded in 1988 with the mission and purpose to Stabilize and Revitalize the neighborhoods of Northwest Detroit. The Detroit Blight Busters has been recognized as a premier grassroots nonprofit organization. One of its many awards was the "Point of Light" award given by President Bill Clinton for its outstanding community service. Over the years, Blight Busters has taken a multi-faceted approach to Community re-development. This approach involved the removal of all neighborhood blight and blighted abandoned structures, creating new energy and community involvement through the creation of a community farm, construction of new and rehabilitated housing and investment in the arts. Over the last 34 years Blight Busters has facilitated over 250,000 volunteers completing thousands of projects, hundreds of new homes constructed and rehabilitated, numerous public murals, and many tons of blight removed. Blight Busters believes that you need to invite everyone to the table in order to achieve the desired outcome, which is a stable, vibrant community. Learn more at detroitblightbusters.org