Jan 11, 2023 - Politics

Affordable housing creation announced at Detroit Policy Conference

City Council members answer questions

City Council members Coleman Young II, Angela Whitfield Calloway and President pro tem James Tate answer questions at the end of yesterday's event. Photos: Samuel Robinson/Axios

A new financing option would help pay for affordable housing creation downtown, Mayor Mike Duggan said at the annual Detroit Regional Chamber policy conference Tuesday at MotorCity Casino.

Details: Developments with 20% of their units reserved for households with income of $31,350 - $62,650 (depending on if it's a single resident or larger family) would have access to the loans.

  • Developers offering apartments affordable enough under federal guidelines could get assistance with 20-40% of hard construction costs.

The latest: The first development that could take advantage of these low-interest loans is the $1.5 billion District Detroit proposal from Stephen Ross and the Ilitches (more on them later).

  • The Downtown Development Authority, which captures city tax dollars for economic development, first needs to approve guidelines for the loan program during its meeting today.

What they're saying: "That's what a city is about, people have different incomes and different backgrounds living together," Duggan said.

Separately, the future of downtown following the pandemic was the major theme of the conference.

  • Average daily workers in downtown Detroit slid from 56,344 in October 2019 to 18,165 in October 2022, the Chamber said — a 68% drop.
  • Detroit ranks 59 out of 62 largest cities for returning people to in-person work.

Of note: Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist for the first time publicly hinted at a possible run for U.S. Senate following Sen. Debbie Stabenow's decision not to seek re-election in 2024.

  • "This is something my wife and I are thinking about," Gilchrist said in a forum with Detroit Today's Stephen Henderson.
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