Another housing project is heading for a northern Michigan community that promises affordability for low-income residents.
The $14.7 million project in Traverse City will offer affordable rental rates for residents who earn between 30-80% of the area median income. Now that ground is broken, 53 new apartment units will be coming to TC, by way of “Annika Place.”
Woda Cooper Companies, and its Senior Vice President Craig Patterson, say that “partnership is essential to build Annika Place, or others like Ruth Park we are building in town. Without our financial partners like MSHDA we couldn’t build a $14.7 million, four-story building that will house single families and seniors.”
The developer says tax credits from the state are critical – and developers across Michigan compete for them. “If we’re awarded those tax credits MSHDA expects us to build it exactly the way we said we would build it, in budget. And that’s how MSHDA assures that developers are doing exactly what they say,” Patterson says. “A typical, conventional developer really can’t build housing and then offer it at low rents. The housing tax credit is the only way we can get the housing that is necessary in a city like Traverse City.”
Leaders say it’s critical to addressing the need for affordable housing. Even the Commanding Officer at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City says this project will help his crew. “It’s really tough. It’s a stressful event for any person or any family, especially if you’re going across the country. Whenever it comes up it can be unsettling and it takes a lot of effort on the member to learn the new area and try to find a house,” Commander Andy Schanno says. “With that comes a huge challenge in trying to find affordable, adequate housing for our members. The addition of this quality housing, it’s a real plus for everyone at the Air Station.”
At Annika Place, rent will range from $360 dollars to $1125 per month, with eight housing assistance vouchers also available from the Traverse City Housing Commission.
Traverse City leaders say it is just one small piece of the puzzle to bringing more affordable housing to the community. “The City actually has hundreds of housing units under construction right now and even more planned and approved. So it’s really starting to gain that momentum. And we’re thrilled about being able to create housing,” says City Manager Marty Colburn.