Crain’s: State OKs tax credits for SOS affordable housing project

July 29th, 2018
The land on which the 64-unit Coolidge Place affordable housing development will be built in Oak Park is on Coolidge north of 8 Mile.


State OKs tax credits for SOS affordable housing project


July 27, 2018 
  • South Oakland Shelter to move forward with first affordable housing development
  • Nonprofit set to close on tax credits and acquisition of land from Oak Park by year’s end
  • It expects to break ground on 64-unit development by next spring and complete by the end of 2019

Coolidge Place, seen here in a conceptual rendering, is a $14 million affordable townhome and ranch-style apartment development in southern Oakland County that will include green space and a community center.

An affordable housing project South Oakland Shelter plans in southern Oakland County has moved forward with the state’s approval of tax credits for it.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority this week approved $1.36 million in low-income housing tax credits each year for 10 years for the development, as one of 14 projects awarded a total of $13.5 million in incentives.

SOS expects to close on the tax credits and finalize the purchase of 4.5 acres of vacant land on the west side of Coolidge Highway north of Eight Mile Road from the city of Oak Park by year’s end, President and CEO Ryan Hertz said.

It also has tentative commitments for another $1.5 million or so to fund the balance of the project costs, he said.

Ryan Hertz

SOS plans to break ground on the $14 million development by next spring, with a goal of completing construction by the end of 2019 and begin leasing early 2020.

The project will include 64 affordable townhome and ranch-style apartments, a quarter of them set aside for those with special needs. Rents will range from $389-$824 per month for the one- to three-bedroom units, as part of a plan that also calls for green space and a community center.

As Crain’s reported last year, Lathrup Village-based SOS formed a nonprofit housing subsidiary, Spero Housing Group, to develop the project, in an effort to meet rising demand for affordable housing in the county.

It has teamed with veteran developer Southwest Housing Solutions in Detroit and is consulting with Ethos Development Partners on the project.

“We’re taking this on is because we recognize if we want to have real and lasting impact on … homelessness … we have to go up stream and address the affordability problem,” Hertz said.

Sixty-four units is fantastic, but it’s a start, not a final solution, he said.

“Certainly, you can expect us to continue to seek opportunities to address affordability and housing disparities in our communities,” Hertz said.

There are only half the number of available affordable units in Oakland County vs. the number of low-income renter households with income up to 50 percent of the area median income, SOS said, extrapolating from a newly released report from the Urban Institute.

The AMI is $49,700 for Oakland County, according to the latest figures from the state.

According to the Urban Institute report, there are fewer than 50 affordable and available units in the county for every 100 very low-income renter households with incomes up to 50 percent of the area median income.

For those with incomes of just 30 percent or below the AMI, there are are only 24 affordable and available units in Oakland County, SOS said.

Coolidge Place will help spark new development in the immediate area around it and help to transition “an otherwise obsolete stretch of property into a vibrant corridor,” Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate said in a statement.


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