Demolition Begins at Detroit's Jeffries East

After months of delays and setbacks, the Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) began demolition of the Jeffries East public housing development today. Lindsey Reames, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development-appointed Recovery Administrator for DHC, joined Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams to announce the start of demolition at the Jeffries East site, where bulldozers began knocking down buildings along 4th and Temple.

"This demolition marks a new beginning for the city, this community and, most of all, the residents who have waited for new housing and a safe, decent neighborhood," said Reames. "With help from the city and our private partners, this day has finally come."

Currently under federal control, DHC received a HOPE VI grant for nearly $40 million in 1994 to redevelop Jeffries Homes, the public housing communities built in 1946 known locally as Jeffries East and Jeffries West. When HUD took over DHC in 2005, one of its priorities was to jumpstart the long-stalled HOPE VI grants. Today Jeffries West, renamed Woodbridge Estates, is being transformed into a thriving mixed-income community, that includes public housing for seniors and families, affordable housing as well as market rate rental units and town homes.

A similar redevelopment plan is underway for Jeffries East. The plan includes replacing the 252 two- and three-bedroom public housing units with 180 homes to include a mix of housing for families of varying income levels. Specifically, there will be 138 public housing units and 42 affordable units, meaning families at or below 60 percent of Detroit's area median income would be eligible for the housing. The redevelopment will also bring a new community center to the neighborhood.

Reames expects demolition to be completed by early summer, with infrastructure construction beginning immediately after that. The developer, Scripps Park Associates, LLC, is also responsible for the transformation of Jeffries West. Scripps Park Associates, LLC is a local collaboration of developers and real estate investment firms with decades of real estate experience, dedicated to providing quality housing.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.