New Affordable Townhomes in Oak Park Welcoming First Residents
(Steve Palackdharry, Southwest Solutions, Jan. 17, 2021)
Oak Park, MI – The night before moving into her new townhome, Caché Daniel could not sleep. The anticipation was overwhelming.
In the morning, Caché and her 4-year-old son walked through the unit for the first time before signing the lease. She felt a warm blend well within of happiness, hope and gratitude.
Caché Daniel and her son Gemeree inside their Coolidge Place townhome
“This begins a new journey for us,” said Caché, 26. “I absolutely love this place!”
Caché is one of the first tenants to move into Coolidge Place, located on Coolidge just north of 8 Mile in Oak Park. The $15M development is a partnership between Lighthouse of Oakland County and Southwest Solutions. It provides 64 quality and affordable townhome and ranch-style apartments for lower-income working families.
Caché works as a security guard at an elementary school about a mile away from her new place. She had been renting in Detroit. When Coolidge Place broke ground last summer, she saw the sign for the development and called to get on the waiting list for prospective tenants. That waiting list is now closed because of the great response.
The rent Caché is paying for her two-bedroom unit is less than $600 a month. The rents at Coolidge Place, in general, range from about $450 to $1,000 per month for one- to three-bedroom units. Eligible tenants must be at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Of the 64 rental units, 16 are designated for residents with special needs. The 4.5-acre site also includes green space and a community center.
Robin Richardson moved into her new unit the same morning as Caché. Robin works for a commercial cleaning company. She had been renting an apartment in Warren.
“This townhome is the best place I’ve ever lived in,” said Robin, 33. “Everything is brand new. I can hardly believe this is our new home.”
Coolidge Place is part of an effort to begin to address the critical need for affordable housing in Oakland County. At least 20,000 low-income households are rent-burdened in the county, which means that they are paying more than 30% of their income on rent, leaving little to address their other needs.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) reserved $1,361,400 in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits over 10 years for the Coolidge Place development, providing about $12.5M in equity toward the $15M project.