Good News on the Horizon for Low-Income Detroiters
Tuesday’s City Council meeting brought exciting news for Detroiters already struggling to make ends meet.
During the meeting, two affordable housing ordinances were put before the council, who voted in approval. According to these ordinances, housing developers which receive public subsidies or discounted city-owned land will now be required to reserve approximately 20% of their units for residents of a lower income threshold. The secondary ordinance put into place protections for low-income and senior residents, ensuring they aren’t able to be unexpectedly displaced.
Councilwoman Mary Sheffield stated that the vote had been three years in the making.
According to Sheffield, the vote was a nod to keeping gentrification out of the Detroit area.
“The gentrification that we see in New York, D.C., Chicago and Boston is not welcome in Detroit,” Sheffield said at a press conference Tuesday, just prior to the meeting.
These new ordinances impact any project which receives $500,000 or more in monetary support from any government entity—including the city, the federal government, or statewide programs. It also effects projects where the property was purchased or transferred from the city at a price equal to less than true value.
“As a result of the resurgence in Detroit, the City is at a critical crossroads in its history. How we address the housing inequities that will inevitably arise will ultimately determine if the growth is sustainable and if all Detroiters are included in the revitalization of Detroit,” Sheffield said.
Claudia Sanford of the United Community Housing Coalition praised one of the elements of the ordinances as being key to a functioning system. Her biggest admiration was the notification requirements that would be put into place by these new ordinances.
“Tenants are usually informed after the property is sold,” Sanford said. “When an owner gives that up, those affordable housing units disappear. That’s a permanent loss of affordable housing.”
Sanford was recently involved in helping to place tenants when a local site lost its affordable housing status. She stressed how difficult it was to find new housing for the tenants who suddenly were facing homelessness. The new ordinance will require a 12-month notification to the City Clerk, the Detroit Housing Commission, and the tenants in the event of benefit expirations or opt-outs.
News & Image Source: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/09/19/detroit-housing-developments-affordable-housing-units/680627001/