DDA: Housing Commission Gets $600K

The Ann Arbor Housing Commission has received a grant of $600,000 to put into capital improvements to two properties in or near the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority tax capture district: Baker Commons and Miller Manor.

Baker Commons is a 64-unit building located at the southeast corner of Packard and Main, within the DDA district. Miller Manor is a 103-unit building on Miller Avenue outside the DDA district, but within a quarter-mile of the district boundary. That conforms with the DDA’s policy on use of its tax increment finance (TIF) funds for housing.

The $600,000 – which is to be paid in three $200,000 annual installments starting this year – was approved at the DDA board’s April 2, 2014 meeting. The grant will support planned capital improvements at the two public housing facilities. [.pdf of Baker Commons plan] [.pdf of Miller Manor plan] DDA board member John Mouat abstained from the vote, noting that the AAHC is a longtime client of his business, Mitchell & Mouat Architects.

The $600,000 amount will push the total contribution by the DDA to AAHC – from 2012 through 2016 – to at least $1.16 million. The April 2 board action comes in addition to a $300,000 grant made by the DDA board to AAHC for Baker Commons a year ago at its March 6, 2013 meeting. That grant was for driveway and sidewalk replacement and repair; installation of energy-efficient lighting; insulation and air sealing; window replacement; adding a second entrance; door replacement; upgrade of fixtures appliances, flooring and cabinetry; replacement of heating and cooling units; generator replacement, elevator replacement, upgrade of common area furniture, and installation of additional security cameras. As part of the DDA board’s April 2 action, it extended the term of the $300,000 grant, as the AAHC has not yet used the funds.

Prior to that, at its Oct. 3, 2012 meeting, the DDA board had granted $260,000 to the AAHC for the replacement of the roof on Baker Commons.

For many DDA board members, the $600,000 grant to AAHC this year was contingent on action by the city council  to grant a similar $600,000 request made by AAHC of the city of Ann Arbor. At its March 3, 2014 meeting, the council directed the city administrator to develop a budget amendment that would allocate $600,000 from the city’s affordable housing trust fund to help the AAHC pay for capital improvements.

Approval of that amendment by the city council would be contingent on the upcoming closing of the sale of city-owned property at Fifth & William in downtown Ann Arbor – the former Y lot. Net proceeds of the sale, at around $1.4 million, are to be deposited in the affordable housing trust fund. The closing on the property was scheduled for April 2, 2014.

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