Let’s Talk Real Estate

Let’s Talk Real Estate

We don’t often do that at CDC. The complexity causes eyes to roll back in their head, or just say “I don’t understand how affordable housing works.” Yes, it can be intricate and challenging, but it also meets a huge need for many residents in the city. Despite that, here’s what we have been working on for a few years now.

First, we acquired 18 units of housing from the Detroit Land Bank Authority last January. Presently for Phase I we are rehabbing 4 units of housing– all for sale. Next, for Phase 2, we will rehab 10 units as rentals with funding from the Missing Middle fund from the State and a 3% loan from the Detroit Housing for the Future fund. Those houses need to be complete by the end of 2024. Finally, for Phase 3, we will rehab the remaining 4 units–2 rental and 2 for sale. CDC construction is busy!

Second, we finally closed on 75 units of housing that were built in 2006. These houses are a little out of our target area, but we have acquired them so that we can prevent them from being turned into market rate housing/preserve affordable housing, and even sell some of the units to qualified tenants. We got these homes for a killer price, but it did take over 3 years to see the deal come to fruition. What a relief!

Third, we are building 32 new homes as yet another form of providing affordable housing for those in need. These duplexes will be built on two blocks, Gladstone and Blaine streets in 48202. It was a complex capital stack but we are scheduled to close on financing in the first quarter of 2024 and should have shovels in the ground by April–fingers crossed/prayers up!

Fourth, we got a 40 unit apartment building donated to us (isn’t God good?) and decided to develop permanent supportive housing for those who are chronically homeless–our contribution to eradicating homelessness in Detroit. We will not only provide housing, but also supportive services to deal with mental health, substance abuse issues, trauma, and more. This is new territory for us but a challenge we look forward to addressing. Rehab to commence in 2nd quarter of 2024.

Fifth, we were selected to become a part of TRUST Neighborhoods, a national organization committed to providing affordable housing particularly in neighborhoods that risk gentrification–like ours. There are Trust Neighborhoods in Boston, Denver, Kansas CIty, and Tulsa already and we are honored to be selected to join the others. Their goal is to help us increase our capacity to do even more by providing financial and other types of support and to have community accountability while doing it. Our year one goal is to acquire 100 units of housing. We have been busy looking at a lot of real estate and dreaming for our community.

We realize that this is not a warm fuzzy story, but those sweet babies, children, teens and families we work with, and are neighbors with all have to live somewhere. Unfortunately some live in deplorable conditions, pay higher rent than they can afford (56% of Detroiter pay 50% or more of their income on rent) with landlords who perhaps don’t maintain their property (only 10% of rental properties in Detroit are registered and in compliance with the CIty’s requirements. Yes, we are part of that 10%).

Jesus came to proclaim the good news to the poor, to set captives free and to liberate those who are oppressed. and we are called to do the same. What a great way to serve the poor and help release them from their oppressive living conditions than to create new, lead free, clean, well maintained, energy efficient housing. That’s why we use up a lot of our brain cells developing real estate — so we fulfill that mission of affordable housing. Besides there is such a great need.