Affordable housing push by Detroit will protect prices for residents

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The idea behind Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s affordable housing initiative is a plan to preserve 10,000 affordable units in the city and its neighborhoods and develop 2,000 more within the next five years.

"We have to start with the people who are here, then build from there," said Arthur Jemison, Detroit director of housing and revitalization.

"Downtown should be for everybody,” resident Stella Buchanan said.

Including an apartment building on Washington Boulevard where Buchanan, who is on a fixed income, and has been featured in Duggan's State of the City Address, calls home.

FOX 2: "When you first heard about this- did you believe it?"

"No, no I did not," resident Stella Buchanan said

That's because after waiting to get into her apartment on Griswald, Buchanan was forced to move after the building had been sold.

"When I first heard this building was being sold, I thought here we go again," she said. "(That) I was going to be asked to leave."

But her apartment was being renovated Monday with new windows and cabinets. Also the elevators, plumbing and heating system were updated.

"I'm on the 12th floor, I've got a gorgeous view," she said. "I love my apartment; I absolutely love it."

And rental assistance is guaranteed here along with several other buildings in mid-town.

"Every person in every unit has a rent adjusted to their income," said Jemison.

Right now more than 1,700 affordable housing units have been preserved in Detroit since 2015 and this latest initiative, is expected to be completed by 2023.

The city says $50 million in grants, another $50 million in public funds and $150 million in low-interest borrowing makes up the Affordable Housing Leverage Fund.

"You can't grow the city if you lose people, especially like Stella who have been here a long time, so you have to retain every Detroiter you can retain and attract new Detroiters" Jemison said. "It's the only way to grow."

The city, focusing on preservation now to save money later it's already less stress for Stella and her neighbors.