Detroit Today

New-construction development begins in Milwaukee Junction, will bring deeply affordable housing to greater New Center area

20 of 25 units to be reserved as affordable, ranging from 40%-80% of average median income. 
Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance development will offer residents quality units for as low as $454 a month.

DETROIT – The City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department announced today that work has begun on building a new affordable-housing development in the city’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood. 

The 22,845 square-foot, four-story development at 258 E. Milwaukee St. will cost about $8 million to build and is slated to open in May 2021. The new-construction project will serve as a vital component of the neighborhood revitalization work being implemented in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood and will serve as a beacon of mixed income housing in an area of the city that is seeing increasing rents and demand.

Developed by Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance and Bingham Farms-based MHT Housing, the Milwaukee Junction Apartments will offer 25 units of housing with 20 of them offered at affordable rates, ranging from 40 percent to 80 percent average median income (AMI). This translates to $454 to $945 a month, with water included. The affordability of these units is made possible through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and support from the Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department and the Detroit Housing Commission.

“We know that those who are making the least sometimes need the most help,” said Cleophus Bradley, director of community development for the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance. “We also believe that affordable housing done right, that does the most good, means creating housing options that are every bit as good as non-affordable housing. Just because they cannot afford to pay more does not mean they deserve less.”

For that reason, there will be no difference between the units designated as affordable and the market rate units, helping to ensure quality housing for Detroiters, no matter their income. The DCPA is dedicated to strengthening residents’ quality of life through community activism and social programs, as well as spiritual support.

“This is truly a mixed-income development, one that is representative of the community as a whole,” said Donald Rencher, director of the Housing & Revitalization Department. “It is so important that we create developments and neighborhoods with Detroiters of all walks of life together instead of sectioning off people based on their income. It also creates affordable housing opportunities in an area 
experiencing rising rents. A successful city is an inclusive city, and this is why it is one of our key missions as a department.” 

The Milwaukee Junction Apartments will feature a large community room, private parking and a bike storage room. The units themselves will offer amenities such as central air-conditioning, in-unit washers and dryers and energy-efficent LED lighting. The building also offers bus and QLINE stops within walking distance, helping to make it transit-friendly for residents and providing access to all of the amenities along the Woodward Corridor and New Center, medical care at nearby Henry Ford Hospital and the Detroit Medical Center, and access to cultural amenities such as the Detroit Institute of Arts. The development also will feature about 1,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space to serve residents of the property and neighbors in the community alike.

“Projects like this are how we are making sure we are building One Detroit, for Everyone,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “When it is completed, this project will give Detroiters who may have felt they’d never be able to afford to live in a new building in a growing neighborhood the opportunity to do so, thanks to our partners.”

The project will be a single four-story building with one unit located on the first floor along with common area amenities including a lobby and large community room for resident gatherings and events, a mailroom, a bike storage room, and a mechanical room.  The remaining twenty-four (24) residential units will be located on the second, third, and fourth floors.  As guided by the City, the Project features a transit-oriented theme with the building sitting along Milwaukee with minimal setback, a bike room for residents to store their bikes, and walkable proximity to a bus stop and Q-Line stop.

The Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance began in 1968, following the unrest seen in the city the year before, when a group of priests and parishioners fought to fill needs in the community. With participation from about 15 city parishes, the mission has since expanded, with affordable housing being its main focus, as well as senior and youth programs, anti-racism training and community service. In the past 15 years, the nonprofit has invested more than $40 million into the community.

MHT is a nonprofit housing corporation whose mission is to provide and develop affordable housing.  It has been recognized for also providing services within Detroit, such as a nationally recognized summer workforce program for Detroit teens, afterschool tutoring and afterschool meals, and an eviction-defense program, among other commitments to the community.

The Milwaukee Junction project will be similar to one that the DCPA opened last year, a $9.5 million, 36-unit mixed-use affordable housing development at 9100 Gratiot, near Eastern Market. Most of the DCPA’s focus has been on the city’s east side, but after seeing the cost of rents increase in the Greater New Center area, “we decided to help residents of the area by helping to increase the amount of affordable housing in the neighborhood,” Bradley said.

The Milwaukee Junction effort will be managed by Continental Construction & Management, a subsidiary of MHT Housing.

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