Interest expressed in rental rehab program 2012.02.08

Written by David Green.

City officials learned Friday that downtown property owners have considerable interest in taking advantage of state funding for the rehabilitation of rental units.

More than 15 people met at city hall with representatives from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to hear details about the program.

The MSHDA representatives toured two locations—the proposed apartments above the new Subway restaurant and the adjacent property, and the second floor of the old Main Street depot, now owned by the State Line Gem and Mineral Society.

City administrator clerk Renée Schroeder expects that at least five locations should be eligible for funding, and possibly two others.

Property owners have until Feb. 29 to submit a letter of interest. Construction drawings are also needed, along with  testing for asbestos and lead-based paint.

Each unit is eligible for funding up to $35,000 in the form of a five-year zero percent interest, forgivable loan. The property owner must invest at least 25 percent of the construction cost and agree to rent at least 51 percent of the units to tenants that meet certain income requirements.

When letters of intent are received, the city will total the amount requested and apply for a grant on behalf of the property owners.

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