Avalon Housing seeks community support to furnish units at new affordable housing complex

In December, Avalon Housing will complete construction on 34 of the 70 planned units at its new Ann Arbor affordable housing complex, Hickory Way Apartments. But the Ann Arbor housing nonprofit is seeking community support to help turn those units into homes.


The units at 1110 and 1132 S. Maple Rd. are for residents earning 60% or less of the area median income (AMI), which is $42,540 for a single person. At least half of all Hickory Way units are reserved for people who are earning up to 30% of AMI ($21,270 for a single person) and have experienced homelessness. Many of the residents moving into Hickory Way will be leaving homelessness when they do so.


Marcia Luke-van Dijk, Avalon's director of communications and fund development, says all 70 units should be completed by 2021. To help complete all the units, Avalon is asking community members to consider donating gently used furniture for the apartments.


"We need to start now," Luke-van Dijk says. "The first units will be ready in December and we want to start gathering furnishings for all of these households so we can be ready."


Avalon has partnered with the Kiwanis Thrift Sale to source larger items for Hickory Way apartments, such as couches, side tables, and kitchen tables.


"Since people have been home more, they might be looking at items thinking, 'Okay, I want to donate this,'" Luke-van Dijk says. "Kiwanis will take those items. This is going to increase their inventory and gives us more items to select from, as well, for Hickory Way."


Avalon Housing is also partnering with HouseN2Home to help furnish apartments and add finishing touches.


"[HouseN2Home] volunteers go out of their way to make apartments beautiful, inviting, and welcoming in the new place," Luke-van Dijk says. "... That's what everyone deserves in their home."


Community members can also help by sponsoring a Hickory Way unit through HouseN2Home. To learn more, visit housen2home.org. Monetary donations for the purchase of items for Hickory Way households can be made at Avalon's website.


"The time is now," Luke-van Dijk says. "People are asking how they can help and this is such a clear way to help their fellow neighbors. In the end, this makes our community better for everyone."


Housing applications for Hickory Way are handled through Housing Access of Washtenaw County (HAWC). Contact HAWC at (734) 961-1999 or housingaccess.net.


Emily Benda is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. You can contact her at emily@emilybenda.com.


Photos courtesy of Avalon Housing.

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