GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As the need for affordable housing grows in Grand Rapids, the city is getting much-needed help from the state.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority is awarding tax incentives to 18 projects across the state, six of which are in Grand Rapids. Local developers are receiving over $5 million in incentives for projects creating more affordable housing units.
Dennis Sturtevant, CEO of affordable housing organization Dwelling Place, said that while the figure is impressive, the tax credits actually translate into millions more in construction.
“It will create an awful lot of new housing for a city that desperately needs it to try to serve families or seniors or people that have been homeless or disabled and make a dent in the affordable housing crisis that Grand Rapids and many other cities are facing,” Sturtevant said.
The money is going to projects that are expected to add nearly 160 affordable housing units and preserve 119 already existing units, according to a city release.
The projects include:
- Edge Flats at 59 Seward Ave. NW
- Ferguson Apartments at 72 Sheldon Blvd. SE
- Franklin and Grandville apartments at Plaza Roosevelt
- Tapestry Square Senior Living at 424 Division Ave. S
- West Garfield Apartments at 1975 Jefferson Ave. SE
The Plaza Roosevelt site will be developed to include a high school, more medical services, commercial space and units for homeownership.
“(At) Dwelling Place, ICCF (Inner City Christian Federation), we believe that our community can be a place where people of all walks of life can have belonging and home that’s affordable. So the developers that are utilizing this tool are really aiming at creating a variety of types of housing. At ICCF, we’re excited to serve the growing senior population with the development near Wealthy and Division, which will have 84 apartments for people with low incomes, also market-rate apartments right in the heart of downtown,” ICCF CEO Ryan VerWys said.
Securing the tax incentives is just the beginning. Developers still have mounds of legal work and planning before even diving into construction.
Sturtevant said construction isn’t expected to start until at least 2020.
“The problem of affordable housing is very complicated,” he said. “Part of it is an income problem, part of it’s a supply problem. Whatever we can do, we’re trying to do. This isn’t going to solve the problem but it certainly will help mitigate some the problem in some of these neighborhoods and areas of the city where housing is most desperately needed.”