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Biden administration official announces funding for housing assistance program in Detroit

Biden administration official announces funding for housing assistance program in Detroit

Gene Sperling, President Joe Biden’s ARPA senior advisor and coordinator, along with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. (Ken Coleman/Michigan Advance)

By Michigan Advance

July 1, 2024

BY KEN COLEMAN, MICHIGAN ADVANCE

DETROIT—With tears of joy, 32-year-old Satin Adams of Detroit shared that she is the first person in her immediate family to be a homeowner.

“I was ready to buy a home,” the mother of six said about living in the federally subsidized Martin Luther King Jr. apartments in Detroit until December. “I wanted a backyard.”

Today, Adams lives in a home that she is buying in the city’s Morningside community because of a local government program that has been so successful that another round has been announced.

She joined Detroit and Wayne County government leaders, including Mayor Mike Duggan and Biden administration official Gene Sperling, for an event on Thursday announcing funding to help up to 300 Motor City residents secure as much as $25,000 in down payment assistance for a home mortgage.

The news conference was held in the Morningside community, which is located on Detroit’s lower east side. The $5 million in federal government funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $2 million in commercial funds from Huntington Bank, Flagstar Bank, Comerica Bank, and Rocket Mortgage. Gene Sperling, Biden’s ARPA senior advisor and coordinator, noted that the funding was created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application period for the funding opened on Thursday is designed for first-time home buyers who are low-to-moderate income residents.

Sperling, an Ann Arbor native, told the Advance in a Wednesday interview that for many Detroit residents, especially African Americans, home ownership helps to build generational wealth.

“For most families, their equity and savings is not about the stock market, it’s about their home,” Sperling said. 

Sperling was director of the National Economic Council during the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations. Sperling added that home ownership “is multi-generational” and helps people to “survive the ups and downs of the economy.”

Duggan said on Thursday that 434 Detroiters, including Adams, “realized the American Dream of homeownership” in the earlier first round thanks to $12 million in ARPA funds that were disbursed in 2023.

“I don’t want to say that renters aren’t welcomed,” Duggan said. “But we all know that the long-term stability of neighborhoods is much better, the higher percentage of homeownership.”

Duggan was joined by Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield as well as Council Members Mary Waters, Coleman A. Young Jr., Fred Durhal and Latisha Johnson. Hassan Sheikh, Wayne County’s economic development director, also attended.

More information is available online on the Detroit Down Payment Assistance Program.

READ MORE: Leaders address Michigan’s housing shortage amid rising costs

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 

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CATEGORIES: HOUSING
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