Disabled veteran feels at home at Mack Ashland II

October 5th, 2017
Darick and Bridget Bledsoe on the back porch of their Mack Ashland II townhome

Darick Bledsoe and his wife Bridget wanted to buy a home in Detroit for their family of three children. They were renting an apartment in the suburbs, but they needed more room and wanted to return to the east side of the city, where Darick is from.

The couple completed a homebuyer education class at Southwest Solutions in April, hoping to then qualify for a mortgage and homeownership incentives available for low to moderate income families. However, Darick and Bridget’s credit scores require improvement before they can purchase the home they want. So the family needed an interim solution.

The front of the Bledsoes’ townhome at Mack Ashland II

They found one at the new east-side townhome development called Mack Ashland II. The project is a partnership between Southwest Solutions and Northeast Guidance Center. It features 28 townhomes for rent between Chalmers and Alter, near Mack Avenue. Some units are set aside for veterans, thanks to a $100,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation as part of its commitment to assist veterans facing housing challenges.

Darick, 40, is a veteran who served 10 years in the Army, including time in combat zones during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Because of his service-related injuries. Darick receives disability compensation from the military.

Darick’s family moved into their new townhome at the beginning of July.

“Even if we can’t get our own home right now, this place is a great substitute and we expect to be here for at least two to three years,” Darick said. “It’s private, spacious and quiet. There’s a garage, nice basement and big backyard. It feels like home.”

Darick and Bridget have gotten to know neighbors in the other new townhomes on their block. Their two youngest children attend Merritt Academy, which is less than a mile away. On school days, Darick drives his kids and three others from families on the block back and forth from Merritt.

“The neighbors look out for each other and we feel safe here,” Darick said. “Not far from here, there’s blight and abandonment, but the neighborhood is building up, especially with these new townhomes, and we feel it’s moving in a very positive direction.”

The Mack Ashland II development is funded by:

  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority
  • Bank of America Foundation
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Community Housing Capital
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta
  • The Home Depot Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank
  • KaBOOM! & Dr Pepper Snapple Group
  • National Development Council
  • NeighborWorks America

Southwest Solutions provides a number of affordable housing opportunities for veterans, including Mack Ashland II, Piquette Square for Veterans, and more. To apply for any of our affordable housing options, please fill out an application at the Southwest Housing Solutions office at 1920 25th Street, Detroit, MI 48216.

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