Last week at the border of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park, the city and minority-owned Nova Development broke ground on a new development for low-income, disabled Detroiters. Mack Alter Homes will bring 14 apartments to vacant land in Detroit's east side.

Applicants for these apartments must have a physical or mental disability under Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) supportive service guidelines. Through vouchers from the DHC, residents won't pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. The apartments are offered at rates at 50 to 60 percent area median income (AMI).

The development sits next to the shopping center at Mack and Alter, which includes a Rite Aid and Aldi. Mack Alter Homes includes 12 two-bedroom apartments and two one-bedroom apartments. Life skills management and on-site supportive services will be available to residents. 

“We believe strongly in empowering people and creating opportunity for all Detroiters,” said Andrew Creamer, principal of Nova Development. “The City has stuck with us, and we appreciate the investment the City has made in this project, both in terms of investment and in the persistent care, attention, and follow through you might expect to be given to big projects. Nova is honored to be a Detroit developer and proud to be bringing quality affordable housing to residents.”

Funding for the $5.4 million project comes from a combination of sources, including $1.8 million in federal HOME funds and $179,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding through the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department. The project also received funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. A payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program will come from the city, meaning the developer to pay a 10% fee on the total rents each year instead of regular property tax rate.

The project has been planned for years but has been delayed due to COVID and rising construction costs. It was designed by Hamtramck's Steven C. Flum Architects. The development is expected to be completed in July 2023.