SW Detroit affordable housing apartments renewed, renovated for deserving residents

Wednesday brought a ribbon cutting for something new happening at an old building in southwest Detroit - an apartment building with affordable housing for 232 families at the renovated Central Towers apartments.

"We know what's happening in this city is that people are moving back and they're driving up rents," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "And so it's critical to us that we make sure people who are in affordable housing get to stay there."

This is what happened here - Mayor Mike Duggan says all 232 units of affordable housing were about to expire, meaning all of these residents could have been thrown out to make way for people willing and able to pay more.

People like David Lopez could have lost their homes - but won't.

"This is good news to me because I've been here for many years and this is a great renovation that's gone on in the building and the building's never had it this good," he said.

With help from Housing and Urban Development and Michigan State Housing Development Authority, all of the units have been renovated and security has been improved.

"The 232 families that live there are now set for the next 44 years in protected low income housing," Duggan said. "Think about the crisis that would have occurred if 232 families had been pushed out and had to find housing in the City of Detroit right now."

It's a real issue as the city sees a comeback. Affordable housing is difficult to come by, but Duggan says in the last six years the city has negotiated new long-term agreements for every low-income housing apartment complex that lost its credits so people are not being pushed out.

"Forty-thousand dollars a unit was spent to update these apartments," Duggan said. "They are affordable, but they are quality and that's what Detroiters deserve."