Mayor Duggan joins city, state leaders and partners to celebrate ribbon cutting of $18M senior affordable housing project named for Rev. Dr. Holley
- New development on Woodward Avenue in Piety Hill neighborhood offers 60 units for seniors earning 50% or less of area median income
- Development led by MHT Housing, with Rev. Dr. Holley’s Historic Little Rock Baptist Church
- Project-based vouchers for all units through Detroit Housing Commission mean no resident will pay more than 30% of their monthly income in rent
Mayor Mike Duggan, City Council President Mary Sheffield, state and city officials and community partners joined the Reverend Jim Holley and MHT Housing Inc. today to celebrate the grand opening of an $18 million affordable housing project located across from Rev. Holley’s Historic Little Rock Baptist Church. The development replaces a building that long sat vacant along Woodward Avenue in the Piety Hill neighborhood.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Holley Residences brings 60 one-bedroom units designated as senior affordable housing which will be offered at or below 50 percent area median income (AMI). This translates to no more than $903 a month, however, because of Section 8 project-based vouchers made available through the Detroit Housing Commission, none of the seniors will pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income in rent. The units are for those making less than $33,150 a year, and their affordability is guaranteed for at least the next 40 years.
“Reverend Holley has dedicated his life to empowering the people of Detroit and this beautiful building is a fitting tribute, right here across the street from his Historic Little Rock Baptist Church,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We thank Rev. Holley and MHT Housing for bringing this project to Woodward and ensuring our seniors have a beautiful place to live that they can afford.”
The building also features ground-floor retail space that will serve not only residents but the entire neighborhood.
"I am grateful for Rev. Holley's recognition of the need for affordable housing especially for our seniors,” said Detroit City Council President, Mary Sheffield. “Our older residents on fixed incomes are normally overlooked when we talk about affordable housing and development in our city. This development is a welcomed addition to District 5 and expands our efforts to provide affordable housing to all residents."
The development is just the latest step in a lifetime of Rev. Dr. Holley creating economic empowerment for Detroiters and helping them meet their basic needs.
The Detroit civil rights icon has served as senior pastor of Historic Little Rock Baptist Church for more than 40 years. Having experienced racism and intimidation in his native South, he was met with similar conditions upon his arrival in the North. As a sophomore classmate of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1966 at Chicago Theological Seminary, Rev. Holley followed the lead of civil rights pioneers such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the NAACP.
Rev. Dr. Holley has sought to guarantee the rights and dignity of Detroiters by meeting basic needs through founding a K-8 charter school, managing a Family Life center focused on family and youth recreation, providing job training and placement programs, low-income housing projects, men’s empowerment conferences, adult education, and GED courses, and providing food and clothing for Detroit families. He has fought for economic development and access, attracting more than $50 million in business ventures and partnerships creating hundreds of jobs within the community.
Reverend Dr. Jim Holley remarks on this project, “How God has used Mr. Van Fox and MHT to honor me in a historic way. It humbles me.”
“I am thrilled to celebrate the opening of Reverend Dr. Jim Holley Residences – one of the first 4%/9% LIHTC developments to be completed in Michigan. We are so thankful for support from the City of Detroit, MSHDA, Stratford Capital, and the Detroit Housing Commission for their assistance in bringing this much needed development to fruition,” said Van Fox, President of MHT Housing, Inc. “To be able to provide 60 units of deep targeted affordable housing to our seniors in a brand-new state of the art building, right here on Woodward is incredible. Big congratulations to Reverend Dr. Jim Holley and the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, we are thankful for their partnership.”
The development was made possible, in part, through $1.8 million in HOME funding administered by the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD).
“The Holley Residences address a key need in our city for quality, senior affordable housing,” said Julie Schneider, director of HRD. “We are committed to working with developers across the city, like MHT Housing and Rev. Holley, to create accessible and quality housing opportunities for all our residents, including our seniors.”
“The Detroit Housing Commission is honored to provide rent subsidies for this development,” said Sandra Henriquez, CEO, Detroit Housing Commission. “The Holley Residences makes perfect the circle of Rev. Holley’s work in the city—serving the needs of Detroiters of all ages, beginning with children and young people through adulthood and now with housing for seniors.”
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority contributed a $1.39 million award in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and provided a construction loan and mortgage on the property.
“MSHDA is proud to be a partner in the Reverend Holly Residences. This project exemplifies MSHDA’s mission of serving the people of Michigan by partnering to provide quality housing in diverse, thriving communities. We are lucky to have great partners like MHT Housing Inc. and the City of Detroit working alongside us to help address the housing crisis,” said MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey.
All units are outfitted with stainless steel appliances and high-speed Internet, and all residents will be able to enjoy an Enterprise Green Community with energy efficiencies, handicap accessibility and a community room with full kitchen. The building is half a block from a bus stop, eight blocks from the QLINE, and features plenty of parking.