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New housing project to help veterans experiencing homelessness and residents with disabilities

2023
  • New affordable housing project will provide 25 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness, and an additional 25 units for disabled persons with a specific focus on veterans.  
  • No resident will pay more than 30% of their monthly income on rent due to vouchers from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Detroit Housing Commission. 

 

Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, the Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department, and local leaders celebrated Thursday the groundbreaking for Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village. Spearheaded by a local development team that includes Premier Property Management and The Slavik Company, Benjamin O. Davis will provide critical affordable housing and supportive services for veterans experiencing homelessness and residents with disabilities.  

Located in District 3 at 4777 E. Outer Drive on the northern edge of the Conner Creek Health Center campus, Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village will feature 50 one-bedroom apartments. Half of the units will be used as permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness, with a specific focus on assisting veterans. The other 25 units will be for residents with disabilities.  

“One of the most important things a city does is make sure its most vulnerable residents have access to the care and support they need to live a healthy and productive life,” said Mayor Duggan. “For this project, a whole coalition of people from the city, state, and private partners came together on behalf of our veterans, our residents with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness, to create a safe, supportive home for them.”   

Project-based vouchers from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Detroit Housing Commission will guarantee that every resident will pay no more than 30% of their monthly income on rent.  

“The Detroit Housing Commission is honored to provide project-based Housing Choice Vouchers to the veterans who will live in this community,” said Detroit Housing Commission CEO Sandra Henriquez. “Thank you to each of them who have served this nation and all of us.”  

The $16.4 million project has received $1.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $300,000 in HOME-ARP funding from the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department.  

“We are honored to support a project carrying the name of Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis Sr. that will play a role in ending veteran homelessness in Detroit,” said Julie Schneider, director of the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department.  

Citizens Bank is providing a $10 million construction loan to Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village to complete the project.  

“The groundbreaking of Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village is a testament to the vision and collaboration of the City of Detroit,” said Yasmeen Jasey, Michigan Market Executive, Citizens Bank. “At Citizens, we’re committed to strengthening communities and catalyzing economic growth by directing capital to support development of affordable housing.  We’re honored to be part of this project and the lasting impact it will have on providing safe and affordable housing for our local veterans.” 

Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village is the result of a partnership of leaders in affordable housing, behavioral health, and veteran health care. Partners include RAD Conversion Specialists LLC; Communities of Hope, a Michigan nonprofit headed by Premier Property Management President Robert Beale; and Central City Health. 

“If not for the steadfast support and participation of MSHDA, the City of Detroit, the Detroit Housing Commission and many others, this important project would not be coming to fruition,” said Premier Property Management President Robert Beale. “Homeless vets in Detroit will soon have a new home with all the support services that we can muster.” 

The Rocket Community Fund provided $300,000 to the project. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provided $387,611 in predevelopment funding.   

"We believe that ending veteran homelessness is possible and are proud of how the entire Detroit community has come together toward this goal,” said Laura Grannemann, Executive Director, Rocket Community Fund. “This project is a testament to our unwavering dedication to providing safe and dignified homes for those who've selflessly served our nation. Together, we ensure that no hero is left without a home." 

"LISC has been involved in the Benjamin O. Davis project from the start, providing a predevelopment loan to help pay for early stage costs critical to moving the project forward," said Anthony Baptiste, regional director of lending for LISC. "We are honored to be involved in a project that provides homeless veterans and other chronically underserved populations with stable homes and a support system to build a brighter future."  

Central City Health will manage supportive services for tenants at the development, as well as provide case management on-site. Through CCH, residents will be able to receive a variety of resources, such as therapeutic services, nursing services, substance abuse assistance, adult case management, hospital liaison services, mental health services, and employment services.  

“The new Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village will be a lifeline for our homeless veterans, offering more than just a roof over their heads, but also access to supportive services that will lead to a brighter future,” said Central City Health President & CEO Dr. Kimberly Farrow. “By addressing their immediate needs, fostering mental and physical health, and empowering them with opportunities, we are not only honoring their service, but giving them the chance to reclaim their dignity and contribute to our communities once again. We applaud the City of Detroit and its many project partners for championing this much-needed development in our community."  

Other partners for the project include Walker & Dunlop and Churchill Stateside Group. 

“Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village will provide critically needed new affordable and veterans units for the City of Detroit,” said Katie Balderrama, Executive Vice President of Walker & Dunlop. “At Walker & Dunlop Affordable Equity we seek to invest in affordable housing that will make the greatest market impact and I can think of no other development that epitomizes our mission than Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village. Our $11 million investment will ensure that these 50 new affordable units will not only be built, but ensures they remain affordable for the next 15 years. Congratulations to our partners RAD Conversion Specialists LLC, Communities of Hope, and Central City Health on this visionary project.”

"Churchill Mortgage Investment is excited to provide an unfunded forward commitment of a $3,145,000 permanent loan on Benjamin O. Davis Veteran Village," said Dan Duda, Senior Vice President, National Director of Originations & Acquisitions, Churchill Stateside Group, LLC. "The vision of RAD Conversion Specialists LLC, Communities of Hope, and Central City Health to help end veteran homelessness is outstanding and much needed in the community. We are very thankful to be a financing partner and looking forward to successful construction of the community."  

Unit amenities at the development will include walk-in closets, dishwashers, central air conditioning, intercoms, and self-cleaning ovens. Building amenities will include an interior camera system, administrative office, two 100-square-foot supportive service offices, an elevator, five units accessible to those with physical disabilities, a 1,300 square foot accessible community room, dining room, kitchen, resident lounge, barber/beauty shop, exercise room, and an indoor bike rack and outdoor patio. 

Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village will be constructed on a currently vacant section of a parking lot of the former Holy Cross/St. John Hospital, which has been reopened as the Connor Creek Health Center. The McLemore family acquired the former hospital in 2015 from Ascension Health.  

In addition to health care resources offered at the adjacent Connor Creek Health Center, residents will benefit from their proximity to CVS Pharmacy, Randazzo Fruit and Grocery Market, Dollar General, and other amenities.  

Lease-up for Benjamin O. Davis is scheduled by August 2025.  

Veteran Homeless groundbreaking pic
Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, the Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department, and local leaders celebrated the groundbreaking for Benjamin O. Davis Veterans Village. Spearheaded by a local development team that includes Premier Property Management and The Slavik Company, Benjamin O. Davis will provide critical affordable housing and supportive services for veterans experiencing homelessness and residents with disabilities.