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ProfitWise News and Views, No. 2, 2016
Community Land Trust Model: Opportunities and Challenges of Preserving Affordable Housing

At least a dozen low-income apartment buildings exclusively for seniors in Detroit’s midtown and downtown areas could convert to market rate apartments in the next ten years, forcing hundreds of seniors to find new homes. Many of the senior apartment buildings were filled in the 1980s when few people wanted to live downtown. Senior subsidies paid by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) comprise one way to keep a level of density in the central districts. Today, stories of young professionals unable to find affordable housing in these high-profile neighborhoods (known as the city’s business, entertainment, and university districts) are offered as proof of downtown Detroit’s comeback. The area’s residential offerings, mostly apartments and condos in mid- and high-rises, have an occupancy rate above 96 percent. Major new downtown residential developments are under way, totaling over 1,300 new units. There is projected market demand for over 500 new residential units annually.

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