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Bedrock and city commit to ‘affordable’ housing downtown

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Micro apartments at 28 Grand
Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Detroit’s largest developer, Bedrock, and the city announced an agreement to create or preserve affordable housing in the greater downtown area. What does that mean exactly?

Bedrock plans on creating over 3,500 housing units over the next few years. Of that, 20 percent, or 700, will be designated affordable. Affordable means households whose income is 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less.

Rental prices in Detroit, while lower than most big cities, have been creeping up over the past few years. Market rate apartments are currently hovering close to $2 per square foot in downtown and Midtown.

The press release notes two Bedrock developments currently in construction that will offer affordable housing. The first is 28 Grand, the building of micro-apartments that should be opening soon in Capitol Park. These apartments will average about 260 square feet each and come fully furnished. Of the 218 apartments, 85 units will be dedicated to households making 60 percent of the AMI or less.

The second development will be one of the first completed in the large City Modern development in Brush Park. The 54 unit building will be dedicated to seniors whose incomes are between 30 percent and 60 percent of the AMI.

The release cites about 2,000 units downtown that are currently designated as affordable housing and could lose that designation as rental assistance contracts expire. Many house senior residents. Bedrock is committing to keeping these units affordable (60 percent of the AMI) for the next 30 years.

"This represents the city's largest developer proactively committing to invest in new affordable housing and preservation in the city's strongest neighborhoods where it is critically needed," said Arthur Jemison, Director of Housing and Revitalization for the City of Detroit.