On Monday, March 9, the City of Detroit put forward to different plans that will significantly affect residents within the city. First and foremost, the city announced plans to curb the spread of Coronavirus in Michigan at a noon press release, shortly after, Mayor Mike Duggan also announced that the City of Detroit would be taking extra measures to preserve affordable housing. Lets breakdown both plans and simplify the information.
CORONAVIRUS WATER RESTART PLAN
It was announced by Mayor Mike Duggan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Detroit Water and Sewerage Director Gary Brown, that in light of the potential health risks from the Coronavirus/COVID-19, the City of Detroit would be partnering with the state to reconnect water service for Detroiters who had their water shutoff. As washing your hands is still the best way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the move allows Detroiters to have the opportunity to protect themselves should the virus begin to spread in Michigan.
Quoted in a press release put out by the City of Detroit, Governor Whitmer stated, “While there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Michigan, one of the best ways to combat the spread of this disease is by washing your hands thoroughly. That’s why the state is stepping up to cover the cost of water restoration for the first 30 days because it’s the right thing to do to keep families safe and protect public health.”
Through the jointly-developed plan, the State of Michigan will cover the cost to reconnect water service for those in the City of Detroit who are currently experiencing or are at risk of experiencing a water service interruption due to not being able to make their payment. After 30 days, those who are at risk of a water service interruption will be able to restore or keep their water service going by paying a bill of $25/month.
Director Brown outlined that anyone currently living without access to water or any household that currently has a door hanger notice for a pending water service interruption for being unable to afford their bill will be eligible for the service. Enrollment for the service began Wednesday, March 11, and those in the City of Detroit looking to take part may call the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency at 313-386-9727.
Read the full press release about the Coronavirus Water Restart Plan here.
CITY OF DETROIT PRESERVING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The second major announcement for the City of Detroit on Monday had to deal with affordable housing and the establishment of the Preservation Partnership. Through the partnership, the City of Detroit aims to keep track of unregulated low-rent apartment buildings that are at risk of being redeveloped into places charging higher rent than those in the city can afford. The push comes as part of Mike Duggan’s “One city, for all of us” drive.
“This partnership adds a new layer to our efforts to make sure we are building one city for all of us,” shared Duggan in a press release put out by the City of Detroit. “The revitalization taking place across our city is putting pressure on rent costs at buildings that have no requirement to provide affordable housing. So, we are going to proactively engage these building owners and offer them help with redevelopment of their properties in exchange for a commitment to keep the rents affordable for years to come, so Detroiters who stayed don’t have to live in fear of being pushed out.”
Duggan and the Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD) announced that as part of the program, there is a goal of preserving 10,000 existing regulated affordable housing units in the city by 2023. This number would come with the addition of new affordable housing for any new development that receives funding or discounted land.
Through the Preservation Partnership, the HRD formed a partnership with groups such as Enterprise Community Partners, the United Community Housing Coalition and Data Driven Detroit, among others. In part of ensuring those living in affordable housing have a quality life, the partners will also be making renovations to improve the quality of the houses acquired through the program.
Read the complete press release about the formation of the Preservation Partnership, here.