JACKSON, MI — Jackson could spend more than $200,000 to create transitional housing, but city leaders want to look at other options.
Jackson City Council voted 6 to 1 on Tuesday, September 13 to postpone approval of a $200,486 contract with Eagle Ventures Inc. to complete a full renovation of a home at 109 Hollywood St. The home is l one of five town-owned houses that could be turned into transitional housing.
The project stems from city officials recognizing that there is a need for affordable housing solutions in Jackson, City Manager Jonathan Greene said.
“What we really need are solutions for people who have federal government housing vouchers or who are in the process of having their situation, whether it is employment or assistance. , to be coordinated and that they needed a place to stay,” Greene said. “It’s short term, get your feet wet, get the support you need and start working on their transition to permanent supportive housing.”
In November 2021, the City Council approved Greene’s authority to spend up to $1 million in U.S. federal Bailout Act funds to rehabilitate vacant city-owned homes for low-income residents. income with housing needs. The houses would create affordable housing now as the city’s Affordable Housing Development Council kicks off.
Related: Jackson to use $4.5 million in COVID relief funds for affordable housing efforts
Greene identified five houses that could be used for this purpose, including the Hollywood Street house. This is the second home presented to council for this purpose, the first being a $194,240 renovation at 404 Homewild Ave. which was approved in July.
Other homes being considered for transitional housing in the future are 1100 Chittock Ave., 1206 Chittock Ave. and 131 E. Prospect St.
Once restored, the city will issue a request for proposals from housing providers who would use the houses for transitional housing. The city would then transfer ownership so that the housing provider would be responsible for maintaining the property in the future, Greene said.
While the council wants to help families find a home in the city, it also wants to be smart with the city’s money, Ward 4 Councilwoman Laura Dwyer Schlecte said in proposing to postpone a vote on funds for the renovation of the Hollywood Street house.
Extensive renovations are needed at the home, said Ward 6 Councilman Will Forgrave, including new concrete slabs, brickwork reconstruction, a new porch and more. These renovations are expensive and the city council would be wiser to consider other options before approving this project, he said.
“Look at all the work we’re doing for this,” Forgrave said. “Hypothetically, it’s a new construction.
The home is estimated to be over 830 square feet and the estimated average cost for new construction in Michigan is $200 per square foot, said community development manager Shane LaPorte. The average cost to repair the home on Hollywood Street would cost more than $240 per square foot, Forgrave said.
There are other factors to consider, however, when it comes to building a new home that may not be included in these numbers, such as hooking up water and sewer services, LaPorte said.
“I would hate for us to end up in a situation where we are looking at new construction, the money is allocated, the costs are $300,000 and now we are stuck without transitional housing for those who need it most” , said LaPorte.
Council members asked city officials to further investigate the costs and compare new construction to renovating this home before a final decision is made.
“While I don’t want to postpone the project, I also think we have to be smart with the dollars we have right now,” Mayor Daniel Mahoney said.
Ward 2 Councilman Freddie Dancy voted against postponing the renovation contract because he said he thought the prices wouldn’t be that different.
The Jackson City Council will consider the matter again at its 6:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the second-floor City Council Chambers of Jackson City Hall, 161 W. Michigan Ave.
Other items approved at Tuesday’s meeting include:
- Installation of a new lamp post at N. East Avenue for $100.
- A resolution for the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority to expand its boundaries to encourage more economic development. Now, the boundaries will further encompass the east side of Prospect Street, as well as portions of Cooper Street and portions of Euclid Avenue.
- A special event request for a request from Double Crossed Media, LLC to host Beats in the Park on Saturday, September 24 at Horace Blackman and Bucky Harris parks.
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