A new fund has been created by the Downtown Detroit Development Authority (DDA) to increase the amount of affordable housing in new developments downtown. The DDA approved use of this fund in the new District Detroit development, which will add 139 units of new affordable housing to downtown.
According to a press release from the city, in order for a development to qualify for the loan, it must:
- Be a multi-unit residential development within the DDA footprint that will include at least 10 affordable housing units
- Set aside at least 20% of its units for residents earning between 50% and 70% of AMI
The current income for this rate would be between $31,350 and $43,890 for an individual or $44,750 and $62,650 for a family of four.
“This new tool will allow us to create more affordable housing units at lower rents than we could achieve without it,” said Kenyetta Bridges, Executive Vice President of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, which staffs the DDA board. “We also are fortunate to have developers who are prepared to use this new loan program immediately to help them reduce rents on these units.”
As an incentive to developers, preferential treatment will be given to Detroit residents in this program. "A unique element of this loan program is that developers would give preference to existing residents of Detroit. A portion of the loan may be forgiven where the developer demonstrates that the affordable units are being rented out to someone who has been a resident of Detroit for at least three years,” said Bridges. “That’s a new approach in Detroit we are very proud of.”
The city has been working to increase the amount of quality affordable housing units around the city, with programs like Low Income Housing Tax Credits and the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund. Even as fewer people are coming into offices downtown, the demand for housing remains high; the vacancy rate downtown is currently 5.9 percent, down from 12 percent in 2020. At Tuesday's Detroit Policy Conference, Mayor Mike Duggan reiterated the need for more quality affordable housing in the downtown core, and that residential developments need to be available to multiple income levels.