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Labor and Economic Opportunity

School for the Blind overhaul will bring more affordable apartments to mid-Michigan

LIHTC awards totaling $11.4 million will improve, increase state’s affordable housing stock

Media Contact: Misty Miller

January 26, 2017

Lansing, MICH. – Plans to bring new life to affordable apartments in mid-Michigan soon will get underway with the support of $1.3 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) issued by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

These LIHTC awards will infuse approximately $12.6 million of private money into the city over the next 10 years through the creation and preservation of affordable housing stock.

The former Michigan School for the Blind Campus in Lansing will be turned into apartments by TWG Development using just over $1 million in annual LIHTC. The outdated auditorium building will be demolished to make room for Walnut Park Apartments and a new four-story building will be constructed that will house 64 affordable housing units and 8 market rate units.

“I am happy to report that the state is investing in Lansing and Lansing's future,” State Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, said. “Lansing needs a good mix of market rate and low income housing. This project on the former school for the blind property is also supported by our city government, and it’s an exciting opportunity for Lansing to have more housing options for those with lower incomes.”

Further south, Sharon Ann Apartments located on the edge of downtown Chelsea will be rehabilitated by Avalon Housing using $221,539 in annual LIHTC. The development consists of 17 units of affordable housing with five of those apartments reserved as Permanent Supportive Housing. PSH is a model that combines low-barrier affordable housing, health care, and supportive services to help individuals and families lead more stable lives. 

“I was so pleased to hear that Sharon Ann Apartments was awarded this credit to help create more affordable housing in our community,” State Rep. Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, said. “Our families depend on safe, comfortable, and affordable housing to thrive, and this public-private partnership will ensure that more families are able to thrive and make our communities stronger.”

Since the LIHTC program began in 1986, it has incentivized affordable rental housing developers to build or rehabilitate more than 20,000 apartments for Michigan families, individuals, seniors and those with special needs.

"The LIHTC Program is a public-private partnership that allows developers to renovate and construct quality, affordable housing for low- and mid-income families and individuals,” said Brian Mills, MSHDA’s interim executive director. “LIHTC is essential to meeting Michigan’s affordable housing needs and serves to boost local economies.”

MSHDA administers the federal tax credits in Michigan according to a Qualified Allocation Plan that outlines specific criteria and eligibility requirements. The QAP also establishes a scoring system to fairly evaluate projects and priorities. 

In 2016, the 10-year value of LIHTC in Michigan was calculated to create more than $1 billion of investment statewide. 


The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.* 

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit