DDA Renews Near North Housing Grant

At its Sept. 7, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board voted to renew a grant to Avalon Housing that the board had originally approved two years ago for the Near North affordable housing project on North Main street.

The grant is for $400,000, with another $100,000 available if the project achieves LEED certification. The grant would be paid when the project receives a certificate of occupancy, and a waiver of all liens. Avalon must also have an agreement in place with the city/county office of community development to ensure that income eligibility requirements are met for all residents.

The income eligibility requirements for the 39 units in Near North are based on affordability as defined for two categories of apartments. For 25 apartments, rents must be affordable to households with incomes at less than 50% of area median income (AMI). The remaining 14 apartment are for supportive housing and will have Section 8 rent subsidies.

The Near North project is outside the DDA tax district boundary, but is within the quarter-mile radius established by DDA board policy for such housing fund expenditures.

The grant was renewed for a period of 2.5 years, instead of the typical two-year period for DDA grants, in order to facilitate LEED certification. The grant was renewed over the dissent of three board members: Newcombe Clark, Russ Collins and Roger Hewitt.

This brief was filed from the DDA offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave., where the board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]