(CBS DETROIT) — Detroit leaders unveiled a $203 million affordable housing plan Thursday to address housing insecurity in the city.

The plan includes renovating vacant apartment buildings and Detroit Land Bank Authority homes for “deeply affordable units,” providing mortgage down payment assistance and establishing a new housing services division. Many of the projects will be supported by the city’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act funds.

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“We’ve been working tirelessly to create and preserve affordable housing in this city for years and prevent large-scale displacement of residents, as seen in other major cities,” Mayor Duggan said in a press release. “Despite the progress we have made, we needed to do more to address the need for quality and deeply affordable units.

“This plan represents a true partnership between the City Council, this administration, and our community partners to get more affordable housing to Detroiters faster while improving the safety and quality of existing rental properties in the city. I believe the plan we have developed is one of the most comprehensive strategies for providing affordable housing in the country.”

Here is a breakdown of the seven-part plan:

  • Detroit housing services ($20 million in ARPA funds)
    • A central Detroit Housing Services division will be established bringing a range of services to Detroiters most at-risk and in greatest need. This new division will include a network of at least six Neighborhood Housing Services centers run by nonprofit providers that will serve as one-stop-shop resources to connect current and future Detroit homeowners with a full range of programs, including housing counseling and foreclosure prevention services. A new hotline also will offer assistance for those looking to avoid housing displacement, as well as emergency response for those facing immediate homelessness, and connections to additional housing resources.
  • Detroit Housing Commission apartment building rehabs ($20M in DHC funds)
    • The Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) will use $20 million from selling the Brewster-Douglass site on acquiring 10 to 12 vacant apartment buildings in neighborhoods across the city, rehabbing them, and then leasing units at deeply affordable rates of 30 percent AMI. Today’s announcement was held in front of a vacant, City-owned apartment building on Tyler near Davison and Linwood in Council District 2, one of the multifamily structures that the DHC is considering renovating for new affordable housing as part of the housing plan’s seven initiatives. The building, dating to 1929, has been a vacant blight on the Dexter-Linwood community for years.
  • Detroit Land Bank affordable home program ($3M in ARPA funds)
    • This initiative will begin with 20 to 50 Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA)-owned homes that will be sold to local community development organizations (CDOs), which will use City subsidies to rehab the properties. The properties will then be rented for at least 10 years at 50 percent to 60 percent area median income (AMI), rates that are considered deeply affordable, with the option for the renter to buy the property and become a homeowner.
  • More affordable housing and expedited approval process ($132M in ARPA and state and federal funds)
    • The City Council will work with the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department to streamline the process for Council to approve affordable housing developments that include units to be rented at 60 percent AMI or below. The current process often requires nine steps or more to get Council approval. In addition to speeding up the process, the plan calls for the funding of 1,600 new affordable housing units across at least 30 individual developments, with 250 of the units designated as permanent supportive housing with a range of services available to Detroiters who are transitioning out of homelessness.
  • Down-payment and homeowner assistance programs ($13 million in ARPA funds)
    • This program will help 600 Detroiters who currently rent become homeowners through a down-payment assistance program. A third of those helped will receive funding and support to transition to owning the homes they are now renting through capital improvements and homeownership counseling. The remainder will receive down-payment assistance to buy homes that they aren’t currently renting.
  • Programs to bring more than 1,000 rental units into compliance ($5 million in ARPA funds)
    • Through a suite of programs, $5 million in funding will be used to bring rental units into compliance with rental codes so that Detroit renters get the quality units that they deserve and that the City requires. A second-floor rental rehab program will transform vacant second-story apartment units located in commercial corridors into affordable housing. Property management and improvement training programs will be offered to small-scale landlords, who will then be eligible to apply for matching grants to renovate their properties and bring them into compliance with the rental registration ordinance.
  • Self-sufficiency support for those facing rising rents ($10 million in ARPA funds)
    • With rents increasing as demand for housing in the city increases, the City of Detroit’s Detroit at Work program can help residents through immediate placement in good-paying jobs or in “earn to learn” programs, including literacy and GED programs.
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Nearly a month ago, the city announced that six major housing developments were underway, creating 500 affordable housing units.

That same week, nearly 200 deeply affordable housing units were also being developed, the city said.

Officials say the city is working on completing the Duggan administration’s goal of preserving 10,000 units of existing affordable housing and developing 2,000 units of new affordable housing. There have been more than 6,500 units preserved and 1,400 new construction units since 2015.

More details on the plan are available at www.detroitmi.gov/detroithousingplan.

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