CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH HOUSING CORPORATION HISTORY

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Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation(CMHC)is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation, established in March 1978 as an outreach of the Episcopal Church of the Messiah on Detroit's lower east side. CMHC was organized to confront the extensive deterioration of housing primarily in the Island view Village community.

The organization's initial focus was to stabilize several medium to large multifamily apartment buildings along East Grand Boulevard. Its strategy was to save more housing units at a lower per-unit cost for rehabilitation, and stabilize housing along this main north-south artery which has significant historical character that leads to one of Detroit's jewel's, Belle Isle Park. It was also to organize smaller groups of lower income residents around their need for decent affordable housing by organizing non- equity
resident housing cooperatives.

After having some success in stabilizing the apartment buildings on East Grand Boulevard, there was a shift in the emphasis to rehabilitating existing duplexes, smaller apartment buildings, and constructing new in-fill housing in the same targeted area. This was done to strengthen the housing market around investments already made in the community, increase neighborhood security by purchasing properties that had been havens for drug and other illegal activities and produce a much more visible and
widespread impact on the neighborhood. This led to a community- wide planning process initiated by CMHC in 1990 which resulted in the preparation of the Island view Village Housing Development Plan and the construction of the first new housing units in the neighborhood in 50 years.

In 1995, a five-year development plan was drafted to help direct the revitalization activities in in the community. This plan expanded activities to include rehabilitation and construction of for-sale housing, providing training and support to potential home buyers, assistance in obtaining mortgage loans, and developing a revolving home-improvement loan fund for existing homeowners.

Projects completed by CHMC include:

  • Mustard Tree Apartments: CMHC's first project was the purchase and moderate rehabilitation of the Mustard Tree Apartments, A 24 unit building in 1978. In 1984 the Mustard Tree became a cooperative. In 1997 the cooperative purchased the building from the housing corporation and has been self-managed since that time.
  • St. Paul Manor: In 1987 CMHC purchased and rehabbed St. Paul Manor, a 50 unit apartment building. The rehab converted the building into 36-units on order to accommodate more families and children...
  • Kingston Arms: In 1990 CMHC purchased and began rehabilitation of Kingston Arms Apartments. The structure has 24 units. The rehab was completed in June 1992.
  • El Tovar: In October 1988, CHMC, in partnership with MICOB Incorporated, acquired a 72-unit apartment building called the El-Tovar Apartments. El Tovar's rehabilitation was completed in July 1993.
  • Field Street I Townhouse Construction: The new construction development consists of twenty-one 2 and 3 bedroom townhouse rental units. It was completed in September 1993.
  • Field Street II Townhouse Construction: The development includes The Hamilton Building, a 5 unit apartment building, which was rehabbed as well as the construction of 23 two and three bedroom rental townhouse units. New townhouse construction began in December 1996 and was completed in July 1998. The Hamilton Building Apartment rehabilitation project was completed in 2000.
  • Bridgeview I Townhouse Construction: the Bridgeview I Townhouse development consists of 11 two and three bedroom rental units. The project began in September of 2003, and was completed in 2005.
  • Bridgeview II Townhouse Construction: In 2004 construction began on the Bridgeview II Townhouses. The townhouses consist of 11 two and three bedroom rental units and were completed in 2006.
  • Bellevue Village: Bellevue Village contains the first newly constructed single family homes in the area in 50 years. Original plans called for ten new construction market rate homes. Only four homes were constructed, due to the collapse of the new construction market.