Our network

City Manager Update, November 2012 | Community Spirit

Title (Max 100 Characters)

City Manager Update, November 2012
City Manager Update, November 2012

From: http://ci.lowell.mi.us

A historic downtown district is a source of pride for any community and that’s certainly true in Lowell. During the past decade, this community has made great progress to improve the downtown area. This progress has occurred through the use of diverse resources from the Lowell Area Community Fund, the LCTV Fund, the Downtown Development Authority and the Lowell Historic District Commission.

The downturn in the national and state economies has certainly had its impact in our community yet a vibrant business climate is the ultimate key to activity and prosperity.
We are taking steps to add another important resource to our toolbox that will help keep downtown improvements moving forward. That’s the Rental Rehabilitation Program, or commonly called the rental rehab program, and is operated by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The rental rehab program is designed to improve privately-owned properties and spur economic development in Michigan’s downtowns. It provides funding to rehabilitate second and third floor stories of downtown buildings for residential use. Funding is provided by MSHDA generally through local units of government. General provisions of the program are:

  • Property owners fund at least 25 percent of construction costs.
  • Rental rates must be affordable at initial occupancy.
  • Funding up to $35,000 per unit for the creation of rental units in previously non-residential space.
  • Funding up to $25,000 per unit for rehabilitating rental units in legal residential use and occupied during the past five years.

Rental rehab projects have had a positive impact in various communities throughout Michigan by increasing activity in the downtown, increasing revenue for downtown property owners and using space in a productive way that is normally not appropriate for home ownership.

The City of Lowell has taken a positive step forward by contracting with Revitalize, LLC, to assist in the rental rehab grant application and administration process. Revitalize, LLC, consists of Bruce Johnson and Lori Ware who have extensive experience in Michigan working with this program.

We will be holding a town hall meeting on Tuesday, November 27, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall to present details of the program and answer questions. Invitations will go out to building owners, however, members of the public are invited to attend.

As always, if you have any questions on this program or any other city issues, please feel free to contact me by email at mhowe@ci.lowell.mi.us or telephone at 897-8457.