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August 19, 2011

Local Incentives and Federal Programs Help Revive Metro Detroit Residential Market

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Live Midtown incentive program which was launched just eight months ago has almost exhausted its funds totaling almost $1 million. The amount provided by Detroit’s major companies, Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center along with local foundations, was meant to cover the first year of the five-year program, but it seems that the incentives are so attractive that a greater number of employees than anticipated have applied for the grant. Consequently, no new applications are being taken for the moment, reports Detroit Free Press. So far 197 Midtown incentives have been granted to commuters, and Detroit residents and city officials are confident that this will help revitalize the area.

There’s good news coming as well from a similar program called Live Downtown, which was launched in late July; in fact, 71 applications have already been received from employees who wish to live downtown. According to Sue Mosey, president of the civic group Midtown Detroit, the vacancy rate for Midtown residential units is approximately 95 percent and things look the same in downtown Detroit.

Following the same incentive pattern, a large number of Metro Detroit residential properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration have been included in a federal program that aims to help investors take hold of foreclosed homes and turn them into rentals. As reported by The Detroit News, more than 3,000 properties currently are expected to be converted into affordable rental housing and revitalize private investments. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency reveals that Michigan ranks fifth in the nation with 5,422 foreclosed homes.

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