Homes protect our families from the elements and are the bedrock of a family’s financial future. Occupied houses means safer communities. 3 I support programs that give individual Detroiters priority when bidding on Land Bank homes. Having swathes of our neighborhoods owned by non-resident developers destabilizes our neighborhoods.
In recent years, many neighborhoods have seen property values increase so much that longtime residents are being displaced because of their inability to pay the dramatically higher rents. In order to maintain socio-economic diversity within our neighborhoods, we must seek ways to support the development of affordable housing. The creation of Community Land Trusts is one idea that has been shown to contribute to stabilizing diversity. 3
I am open to investigating ways to create more equitable and affordable housing options. Programs such as HUD’s Low-income Housing Credit (LIHTC) have shown to decrease crime and increase surrounding property values in distressed areas. 4, 5
To protect our residents, we need to put the right structures in place that prioritize diversity and accessibility and that provide opportunities for growth. In order to define exactly what that means requires eliciting community input and cooperation amongst our residents, community leaders, and our city officials.
Affordable Housing Programs in Detroit
The Affordable Housing Leverage Fund (AHLF) is a partnership between Detroit LISC, the City of Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD), and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to provide affordable housing developers and owners with streamlined access to financial tools that are specifically designed to address housing challenges in Detroit neighborhoods. 6
AHLF encourages the preservation of regulated and naturally occurring affordable housing throughout the City of Detroit and the development of new mixed-income and affordable housing in targeted multi-family housing areas. AHLF is expected to deploy $250 million into the preservation of 10,000 units of existing affordable housing and the development of 2,000 units of new affordable housing.
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance - sponsored by Mary Sheffield
In 2017, the City of Detroit passed an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (Ordinance) to ensure that new development in the City that receives public subsidy would provide housing affordable to a range of income levels.
The Ordinance prescribes City policy for affordable housing. However, it does not include fully detailed instructions for administration, which allows more flexibility in implementing and enforcing the Ordinance. Instead, the Ordinance calls for the Housing and Revitalization Department to adopt Guidelines. 7
The state will invest the $100 million into the Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund. Through this fund, the state can issue grants or loans for an array of projects aimed at increasing affordable housing across the state. That includes everything from rehabilitating existing buildings to helping people obtain money to provide a down payment on a home. 8
Mayor Mike Duggan joined leaders from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and JPMorgan Chase today to celebrate the launch of the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF), a public-private partnership aimed at directing $75 million in private capital to affordable housing in Detroit. The Detroit Housing for the Future Fund launches with an initial capitalization of $48 million, anchored by a $15 million commitment from JPMorgan Chase and a $10 million guarantee from The Kresge Foundation. 9
The DHFF aims to address housing instability in the city by filling the funding gap that limits developers’ ability to preserve and create much-needed affordable housing. Developers often have difficulty bridging the funding gap between redevelopment costs and the income they will receive from tenants. This fund will provide developers and owners of affordable housing with streamlined access to financial tools that are specifically designed to address housing challenges in Detroit neighborhoods.
I often hear from our residents about their dismay that our district currently has no community recreation center. While I do support building a new center as a long term solution, I also think that there are solutions within our community today. I intend to use my relationships to develop stronger relationships with the local elementary and high schools to develop better community use policies.
I also plan to review the DPSCD communities in school policy and work to provide better resident access to public school resources. We also need to negotiate better Community Benefits Agreements between businesses and the city to provide funds for recreation centers. When it comes to budget allocation, one focus will be uplifting after-school and other recreational & educational programs for our youth as well as improved services for our seniors.
SUPPORTING LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS
I envision neighborhood corridors with small businesses that support residents and hire from the community. Tax abatement is one way the city has attracted businesses but that strategy can come at a high cost. I am looking at ways to modify our tax abatement policies so that they provide the needed incentive without robbing the community of critical tax dollars.
There are other creative ways we can support our local businesses while lifting up our residents, such as “Hire From the Neighborhood” or recruiting summer interns from local schools. I will support policies that balance commercial improvement and growth with maintaining affordability and access.