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Archdiocese sells vacant school building for affordable housing development

An old Catholic school in Detroit’s Bangladeshi neighborhood will be redeveloped into 23 units of affordable housing.


Mayor Mike Duggan announced the $6.4 million project by Ethos Development Partners and Building Blocks Nonprofit Housing Corporation today. The groups will acquire the Transfiguration School from the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit and renovate it.

The project is part of a partnership between Detroit and the Archdiocese to rehabilitate and reoccupy buildings owned by the church.

“This was the first developer selection that’s come out of this process,” said Arthur Jemison, Director of Housing and Revitalization for Detroit.

Transfiguration School has been vacant since 2005. The redevelopment plan will convert it to 23 one- and two-bedroom units, with 100 percent of the apartments rated as affordable at 60 percent of the area median income. Jemison says that the Bangladeshi community will be involved in designing feature spaces within the project that reflect the needs and wishes of neighborhood residents.

The $6.4 million investment will also include neighborhood stabilization. Eighteen blighted homes near the school will be demolished, and the developers will host resource fairs to connect residents to programs like Detroit’s 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program and the Detroit Land Bank Authority’s Side Lot Sale Program.

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