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 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.
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