Apartment updates and fixes ahead in the new year

Residents of the apartments formerly known as New Horizon Village in Kalamazoo who have been waiting for renovations to the property should see results in the coming year.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has approved spending $1.5 million in housing tax credits for the units. That money will be added to funds coming from the department of Housing and Urban Development that will make repairs possible.

Lisa Willcutt, of Phoenix Properties, which manages the property, says the list of things to be done is long and extensive. From parking lot repairs to structural renovations to assure weather tightness, elimination of trip hazards to mechanical updates, the renovations are intended to be thorough.

"We hope to make sure the buildings last for another 30 years," Willcutt says.

The 152 apartments are made available to residents with low incomes. Rent paid is based on 30 percent of a resident’s income.

"There is so little of this kind of housing available," Willcutt says and adds it is important to have such housing opportunities. "When people lose their jobs their rent goes down so they can still have a place to live. These days that’s important."

The apartments at 2400 St. Albans Way date from 1972 and are in need of updates, she says. "Residents have been waiting a very long time for this."

Wilcutt also praised City of Kalamazoo staff who helped pull together the necessary financing, in this case a pay in lieu of taxes arrangement that helped the project come together.

The Kalamazoo project is one of nine recently approved by MSHDA across the state. Together the approvals mean nearly 700 units of affordable rental housing will be built or renovated for low- to moderate-income Michigan families, the elderly, people with disabilities and those at risk of homelessness.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave
Source: Lisa Willcutt, Phoenix Properties
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