City launches new grant program for small-scale landlords to bring duplexes (and more) up to code

What’s happening: The City of Detroit has announced a new program that offers financial support to Detroit-based landlords looking to renovate and maintain their properties. The Detroit Duplex Repair Program offers small-scale landlords up to $45,000 per structure coupled with the requirement that they obtain Certificates of Compliance and maintain the units as affordable housing for a five-year period.

How it works: The grants are available to Detroit residents who are landlords with no more than two properties in their portfolio, and can be applied to duplexes, two-flats, and triplexes. Repairs made must earn a building its Certificate of Compliance from the City’s Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department, demonstrating that the units are safe for occupancy. The program also stipulates that the units be rented at up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) for a five-year period once repairs have been made.

[Related: Read “This Detroit nonprofit is taking a novel approach to affordable housing: Landlord-occupied duplexes” on Model D.]

What’s available: Detroit Duplex Repair grants are available up to $15,000 per unit, at a maximum of $45,000 per structure. The $2.3 million program aims to help deliver nearly 150 rental units their Certificates of Compliance.

A second component of the program offers Detroit-based landlords who obtain their Certificates of Compliance on or after Nov. 1, 2023, a $750 compliance rebate per unit, with a maximum set at ten units, or $7,500. This program is not limited to duplexes, two-flats, or triplexes.

Visit the Detroit Duplex Repair Program online to learn more about eligibility requirements, the application process, and more.

Who’s behind it: The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department has partnered with CHN Housing Partners on the program. It’s CHN who will be administering the grant program, including the application process.

Why it’s important: “The Detroit Duplex Repair Program is a truly innovative program that allows us to approach a number of housing challenges that Detroit faces at one time," says Kevin Nowak, president and CEO of CHN Housing Partners. "By repairing and encouraging the registration of Detroit's affordable rental units, we are supporting landlords, creating safe and healthy homes in the short term, and ensuring access to affordable homes in the years to come.”

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.