With two years remaining of the five-year Live Midtown program, employees of Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University, and the Detroit Medical Center have continued to take advantage of this housing incentive.

Because Midtown Detroit Inc., has recently seen a steep increase in the interest of eligible employees to purchase historic single family homes, they’ve decided to expand it to the Boston-Edison District.

Due in part to the success of the Live Midtown program, the market for single family for-sale properties is very constrained in the core with few available options in the Woodbridge, Midtown and New Center districts.

MDI has administered the Live Midtown and Live Downtown residential incentive programs since their inception in 2011. In the first three years of the programs, 1,600 people have moved to Detroit’s urban core with the assistance of these programs and more than 1,000 more have gone on to renew leases under the incentive programs.

“The Live Midtown incentive, in my opinion, is the single largest driver of the housing demand and value increases in Midtown. For the first time in our 10 years, our office has more renters and buyers than we do available properties in Midtown,” says Ryan Cooley of O’Connor Real Estate. Currently, the residential occupancy rate in Midtown is 97%, causing a need for new housing supply.

This expansion not only opens up an array of quality housing stock, but also supports the Detroit Future Cities Framework Plan which identifies this area as an important district to stabilize.

According to Noel Baril, vice president, Talent Selection & Rewards, Human Resources at Henry Ford Health System, “In its first three years, the Live Midtown program has created significant momentum, making Midtown an incredibly desirable community for Henry Ford employees to live. We are pleased to offer our employees a greater choice in housing and the opportunity to use Live Midtown funds to move into the distinguished Boston-Edison district.”

MDI anticipates that trends we’ve seen within the existing boundaries will be replicated in the expanded footprint. Jeff Cowin, owner of several properties within the current Live Midtown boundaries, continues to invest.

“The added demand for housing that has resulted from this incentive program has pushed me to re-develop more vacant properties into quality market rate housing.” Mr. Cowin went on to say, “My tenants who participate in the program love the opportunities that are unique to this city, and plan to stay once their housing incentive runs out”.


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