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ICCF plans to redevelop the building at 415 Franklin St. SE into affordable housing. ICCF plans to redevelop the building at 415 Franklin St. SE into affordable housing. COURTESY PHOTO

Trio of Grand Rapids affordable housing projects receive federal tax credits

BY Friday, January 26, 2018 10:10am

GRAND RAPIDS –– Three proposed Grand Rapids developments have received more than $2.7 million in federal tax credits for the creation of affordable housing units.

Proposals from two Grand Rapids-based nonprofit real estate developers — Inner City Christian Federation and Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids — as well as an affordable housing development proposed by Westerville, Ohio-based The Woda Group Inc. were successful in securing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), according to an announcement on Friday morning.

The three projects are expected to bring 113 housing units to the northwest and southeast quadrants of the city at a time when housing affordability is a prime concern for many developers and city stakeholders, as MiBiz previously reported.

LIHTC –– which is administered by the Michigan State House Development Authority (MSHDA), the state agency that oversees housing policy in Michigan –– functions as a popular financing mechanism for the development of affordable housing around the country.

MSHDA allocated just less than $12.5 million for LIHTC projects around the state, according to a statement.

Projects in Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, Niles, Ann Arbor, Reed City, Ishpeming, and Portage also were awarded LIHTC allocations.  

The ICCF development proposes redeveloping the vacant building at 415 Franklin St. SE –– formerly home to Grand Rapids Christian High School and the Kent County Department of Human Services –– into 40 affordable housing units as well as community, religious and office space, as MiBiz previously reported.

The Woda Group, which is nearing completion on a riverfront affordable housing project immediately north of downtown of Grand Rapids, plans a 50-unit, $10.4 project at 745 Stocking Ave. NW on the city’s northwest side.  

Meanwhile, Dwelling Place plans 23 units on Pine Avenue NW, just south of Leonard Street, also on the city’s northwest side.

“Specifically with some of the Grand Rapids deals that we awarded, they’re in pretty targeted areas within the city of Grand Rapids,” said Chad Benson, allocation manager for the LIHTC program at MSHDA. “With our program, we definitely try to make sure that the housing we’re putting in various municipalities is tied to other significant investment that’s happening in that area.”

MSHDA also awarded LIHTC to Hope Network’s Village Of Kalamazoo Apartments in Kalamazoo, Portage-based Selinon Park by Full Circle Communities Inc. and MDV Properties, and PK Development Group LLC’s Reed City Apartments in Reed City.

Proposed redevelopments for two projects in downtown Grand Rapids along Division Avenue — the long-vacant Keeler Building and vacant property at the southwest corner with Weston Street — were unsuccessful in securing LIHTC funding for the second time.

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from MSHDA’s Chad Benson.

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