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Report: Detroit needs more affordable and market-rate housing downtown

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

The third Greater Downtown Residential Market Study has just been released by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), in collaboration with Invest Detroit and Zimmerman/Volk Associates, Inc. How is the greater downtown area doing in terms of demand and need for housing? With increased units available over the past few years, we’ll need more to meet demand in the coming years.

For this study, the greater downtown area was comprised of Corktown, Downtown, Midtown, Lafayette Park, Rivertown, Eastern Market, Tech Town, Woodbridge, and New Center.

Zimmerman/Volk Associates found that the annual demand for market-rate rentals and for-sale multi-family units runs from 1,230-1,500; the five year demand is at 6,150-7,500. In terms of affordable housing for rentals and for-sale multi-family units, the numbers show a demand of 414-512 annually; 2,070-2,500 over five years.

We’re going to need more housing.

As far as who might be looking for these residences, 66 percent are singles or childless couples, while empty nesters and retirees comprise 24 percent. Only 10 percent are traditional or non-traditional families.

Since 2014, 20 new (larger) rental projects have been developed, including the Scott at Brush Park, the Strathmore, the Griswold, and DuCharme Place. The study cites a need for newer construction, since so many buildings have been or are in the process of being renovated.

Of the units developed since 2014, nearly 76 percent are market-rate and 24 percent are affordable, or income-restricted units.

The full report can be accessed here.