Affordable housing projects underway in Traverse City

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Construction workers took a break as Traverse City leaders toured what will soon be a four-story affordable housing complex overlooking the Boardman River.

Two affordable housing projects in Traverse City are expected to be completed within the year, bringing more than 100 new apartments. The area is the second fastest growing in the state and is desperate for more year round rentals.

The Ruth Park building on Eighth and Wellington streets will have 58 rental units.

Craig Patterson, with developer Woda Cooper Companies, said it took years to find a location that attracted state funding for its walkability and access to a park and library.

“I doubt these units are turning much – that is, once you’re here on this site overlooking the Boardman…why would you want to change your address?” he said.

One-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments are eligible for those earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area’s median income. Depending on income, monthly rent and utilities range between about $600 and $1,400 per month.

The apartment building guaranteed low rents for at least 45 years.

City Manager Marty Coburn said Traverse City has always struggled to compete for affordable housing grants, but the Michigan State Housing Development Authority recently updated its criteria.

“They’ve been open-minded about looking at policy and practice about how the more rural communities compete with larger communities, so we appreciate that. Overall, we have a lot of work to do.

MSHDA recently provided more financing to the project to offset rising construction costs.

The state agency also approved another affordable housing project by the developer targeting Coast Guard members based in Traverse City. It should be ready in October.

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