Community gathers for groundbreaking of 48-unit affordable housing development in Old Redford

What’s happening: A groundbreaking celebration was held for a new affordable housing development in Detroit’s Old Redford neighborhood this past Thursday, Aug. 10. The 48-unit development will be available to those earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), which officials expect to place rental rates anywhere from $492 to $915 per month.

What it is: Dubbed the Orchard Village Apartments, the new housing development is built for families, featuring 48 two-bedroom units at below market rate prices. Each unit has its own washer and dryer, dishwasher, access to on-site parking, and more. A business center and community center are also planned for Orchard Village. It’s estimated that the apartments will be ready for tenants come the fall of 2024.

Who’s building it: Detroit Blight Busters and CHN Housing Partners are co-developing Orchard Village Apartments, utilizing a web of funding resources to make the project a reality. That includes a competitive 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) award from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which is expected to generate nearly $10.9 million of the project’s $15.7 million total cost.

Busting blight (and building up): Orchard Village Apartments is being built atop nine vacant lots near the intersection of Lahser and Grand River at 21566 Orchard Street. Says John George, executive director of Detroit Blight Busters,  “Over the past 35 years Blight Busters has been tearing down blighted homes that have been a danger to our community. Orchard Village is an opportunity to literally build up our community and take our work to the next level. It’s a full circle moment for us and we don’t intend to slow down.”

Why it’s important: “Old Redford is a neighborhood supported by a deep network of neighbors and businesses. It is one of Detroit’s legacy communities where residents and retail never wavered," Detroit City Council President Pro Tem James Tate says in a statement. "Ensuring Old Redford continues to be a place where Detroiters call home guaranteeing they have access to quality affordable housing in D1 is so important. As we see more investments in Northwest Detroit, developments like Orchard Village Apartments will help ensure that Detroiters will be able to stay and be a part of its growth.”

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