'People have hope': Nonprofit unveils 32-home development in Pontiac
July 15, 2014
By DUSTIN BLITCHOK
The Oakland Press
Pontiac City Councilman Kermit Williams stood on a once-dilapidated block of Shirley Street near his childhood home Tuesday where some of the 32 rent-to-own homes being built by Community Housing Network stand.
"I think it’s lifted the spirits of the neighborhood,” Williams said. "People have hope.”
The Troy nonprofit, which has been constructing homes in the county for more than a decade, celebrated the $9.2 million project Tuesday. The homes, funded by Michigan State Housing Development Authority tax credits and investor PNC Bank, sit on lots that were previously vacant.
"We will continue to work on bringing resources and development to this neighborhood and, in the process, help bring back the middle class,” Community Housing Network President Marc Craig said to a crowd of dignitaries that included Mayor Deirdre Waterman, Rep. Tim Greimel, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner.
Waterman said she’s pleased that ribbon cuttings are occurring so often in the city.
"Building a stronger community is a vital part of building a stronger city,” she said before presenting a mayoral proclamation to Community Housing Network.
Photo by TIM THOMPSON-The Oakland Press Kirsten Elliott, Community Housing Network’s vice president of development, and Marc Craig, the nonprofit’s president, at the unveiling of the Unity Park Rentals on South Shirley Street in Pontiac on Tuesday.
Construction underway on Community Housing Network's 32 new Pontiac homes
June 13, 2014
By DUSTIN BLITCHOK
The Oakland Press
PONTIAC - The hammers and drills heard Friday on Oriley Street sounded like the comeback of a neighborhood.
"It’s creating more density in housing, it’s eliminating blight, it’s increasing property values and it’s making it safer for the neighbors,” said Kirsten Elliott, Community Housing Network’s vice president of development.
The construction of the 32 homes is expected to be complete by November. They range in size from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet and include both two-story colonials and five fully accessible ranches. Applications are being taken from prospective renters.
The construction is funded by Michigan State Housing Development Authority tax credits and investor PNC Bank.
Renters will have the opportunity to purchase their home after 15 years for a nominal fee based on income.
Photo by TIM THOMPSON-The Oakland Press
Amber Wicklund, 17, a student at the Oakland Technical Campus Northeast,
helps to frame a house in Unity Park on Tuesday for Community Housing
Nonprofit to invest millions in Pontiac housing development
July 26, 2013
By ANDREW KIDD
The Oakland Press
A nonprofit lease-to-purchase housing development coming to a Pontiac neighborhood will give low- and middle-income families a chance at eventual home ownership.
Troy-based nonprofit Community Housing Network announced the construction of a long-term, lease-to-purchase housing development in Unity Park on the city's southeast side.
The $9 million Unity Park Rentals development will consist of 32 new homes in the eastern half of the neighborhood, ranging from two to four bedrooms with attached garages on each.
Community Housing Network Vice President of Development Kirsten Elliott said the project is the largest the network has undertaken and is meant as a community revitalization project for the neighborhood.
Photo by TIM THOMPSON, The Oakland Press
Kristen Elliott, vice president of Development for the Community Housing
Network, with a site plan, in front of the type of house that will be
built for a 32-unit rental home development in Unity Park in Pontiac.
Community Housing Network awarded for work
June 16, 2013 The Oakland Press
TROY— Community Housing Network received two state awards recognizing thenonprofit's work in housing counseling resources at the recent BuildingMichigan Communities conference in Lansing.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) honored CHN as the Homeownership Counseling Program Agency of the Year and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) and Americorps' Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Corps honored CHN as the Host Site of the Year.
Home for the Holidays: Families find reasons to celebrate amid difficult times
December 23, 2012 By DIANA DILLABER MURRAY The Oakland Press
Two years ago during this holiday season Bobbi Hess was in the midst of foreclosure and wondering if she would ever own a home of her own again.
Hess was grieving over the loss of the Berkley home where she lived for 30 years and raised her two daughters, one who has a disability that keeps her from speaking and requires her to use a wheelchair.
Despite efforts to save her house, Hess, who works two jobs and does party sales, lost it in foreclosure.
This year, "Jim" and "Judy," a couple from northwest Oakland County, found themselves jobless with a disabled child and living in their car.
They were worried that they might never be able to pull themselves and their two sons out of their desperate situation.
And until recently, Arketa and Stanton Williams and their son Mark, 12, had been living in an apartment in Royal Oak.
They had long dreamed of finding an affordable house near Stanton's place of work in Pontiac.
Area mental health, homeless programs bracing for shutdown
October 13, 2012
By MARK COWAN JR.
Special to The Oakland Press
Programs and organizations relating to local mental health and homelessness issues have not yet been affected by the partial government shutdown, but they're definitely preparing for the possibility.
"If it persists, then it's going to affect not only our organization but every other piece of society, and that will be a mess,” said Jeff Brown, executive director for Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority.
The authority is a public mental health system responsible for managing support services to Oakland County residents, including individuals with developmental disorders, serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance and substance use disorders. It is the second largest public community mental health care manager of mental health programs in Michigan. ...
Marc Craig, president of Community Housing Network, a supportive housing provider based in Troy with offices in Macomb and Wayne Counties, also weighed in on the situation.
"For the month of October, most of the programs we run are under contract and should be funded,” Craig said. "It will slow down the progress of a couple of developments we have underway.”
Craig said that should the debt limit debacle not be resolved quickly, it could spell problems for the housing provider.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program helping to revitalize Pontiac
May 28, 2012
By Dustin Blitchok
The Oakland Press
PONTIAC -- Kiesha Jones was all smiles as she showed friends around the new
ranch house on Paddock Street in Pontiac she hopes to close on within the next
been a long road. This is a dream I've had for a long time," Jones said of
owning a home for the first time. Hers is one of 18 homes built from the ground
up in southeast Pontiac using funds from the second phase of the federal
government's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
was born and raised in Pontiac, graduated from Pontiac Central High School and
has two children. Her home is one of 12 built in a partnership between the
Community Housing Network of Troy and Venture Inc., an arm of the Oakland
Livingston Human Service Agency.
additional six homes are being built by Home Renewal Systems, a Farmington
Hills-based builder, in the neighborhood coined "Unity Park."
revitalizing the neighborhood," said Ron Borngesser, CEO of the Oakland
Livingston Human Service Agency, a nonprofit agency headquartered on Cesar
Chavez Avenue. "If you provide good, affordable homes, people are looking
to live in Pontiac."
18 lots were either vacant or had city or county owned homes on them that were
demolished. Two of the new homes are designed to be accessible for potential
buyers with a disability.
CHN staffer Jamie Christofel received the 2012 Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority (OCCMHA) "Director’s Award” during the organization’s annual Keys to Total Health Conference April 23 at the Troy Marriott.
Christofel is Housing Resource Center team leader at CHN.
Community Housing Network secures housing for WWII veteran, 87, living in car
Since the beginning of April, Johnnie F. Richburg, an 87-year-old World War II veteran, had been living in his car in the Pontiac City Hall parking lot. When he first arrived, he went inside City Hall and asked if they could help with housing.
Tuesday Redmond, Pontiac Community Development specialist, called Community Housing Network (CHN). CHN sent a team headed by LaVonne Spivey, housing stabilization coordinator, to meet with Johnnie and gather more information.
Community Housing Network is excited to announce the opening of its Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Programs!
This program, provided in conjunction with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), offers FREE foreclosure prevention counseling. If you: more
Video: Opening Doors, Transforming Lives
We provide housing to meet a variety needs in the SE
Michigan community. This video offers tours of some of our housing
options, explains how these options meet residents’ needs, and highlights how we
have creatively utilized multiple funding streams to develop safe, decent, and
affordable housing. It is available full screen on our Video Page.
CHN is again one of Crain's Cool Places to Work!
Community Housing Network is excited to once again be one of Crain's Cool Places to Work! Check out Crain's list here, and check our video for just some of the reasons why CHN is a great Cool Place to Work.
For a third year in a row, CHN a Top 100 Workplace!
For the third year in a row, Community Housing Network has been chosen as a Top 100 Workplace by the Detroit Free Press in the small company category!
New design for our CHN Housing Hub blog!
We are excited to announce a
brand new look for our CHN Housing Hub blog, launched at the beginning of the year!
Our staff experts in multiple areas of housing share useful and valuable
information in each post in six categories: Inclusive Communities; Housing
Crisis; Fair Housing; Housing Stability; Long-term Housing Solutions; and
Housing Policy. Your comments are also welcome for each post!
Community Housing Network 570 Kirts Blvd., Suite 231, Troy, Michigan 48084 with offices in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties 248.928.0111 866.282.3119 (toll free)