Stevens, Louis Kamper buildings to renovate 165 units for seniors citizens

More than a hundred units in Detroit's booming downtown are non-dedicated to low income seniors.

"We need room for the seniors," said tenant Michelle Fallena.

There is plenty of real estate for working millennials downtown Detroit, but not so much for senior citizens on a fixed income like Michelle.

"I think it's about time because the seniors deserve it. They live here, they built the city," she said.

There aren't many residential buildings that cater to affordable housing for seniors. But that's about to change. On Wednesday, there was a groundbreaking for a complete renovation at the historic Stevens and Louis Kamper buildings off Washington.

"We've got 165 people who were living downtown, stayed here during the toughest times, and now that downtown is booming, they want to be a part of it," said Mayor Mike Duggan.

The mayor's team, alongside development company The Roxbury Group, is ready to remodel 165 units that will stay section 8 housing, specifically with seniors in mind.

"It's going to be brand new. It's beautiful. It's going to be like starting all over again," Fallena said.

The remodeled kitchens will have brand new appliances, brand new countertops and more. It's a major upgrade from the kitchens they have had for decades. They're redoing everything top to bottom - even the insides of the building will be updated.

"They've already started in my unit. They're doing the heating and cooling system," said Stella Buchanan.

Stella says it says it's a blessing because a few years ago she was kicked out of Griswold building when developers bought it.

"We were all kind of shaken, because we wanted to live downtown and that was one of the buildings that we could afford to live in," she said.

She's been at the Kamper building ever since. There are 15 other buildings like it downtown that the city will soon have to intervene to make sure rent stays affordable for people like Stella.

"It's exciting. I'm happy. I'm really happy," she said.