SHP D is a coalition of organizations and individuals who are dedicated to the preservation of affordable senior living in Detroit. Known for advocacy, the members of SHP D have come together to increase awareness as to the displacement of Detroit seniors, ways to preserve senior housing and to communicate the need for action to protect Detroit’s seniors’ rights and health and wellbeing.
The conversion, or potential conversion, of apartment buildings serving low income senior citizens in Detroit into market-rate housing has created a human service crisis for seniors living in the Downtown and Midtown areas of Detroit. As is the case with most urban areas, Detroit has a high concentration of subsidized low income senior housing. There is insuf cient support at the local, state, or federal level to support the nancing of new housing for low income seniors in Detroit who may be displaced and will be compelled to relocate. There is a shortage of low income senior housing in Detroit and seniors incur waiting lists as the population of seniors steadily increases. Over 2,000 seniors in over a dozen apartment buildings are at risk of being displaced from their homes and communities over the next decade.
National Challenges, National Efforts
The elimination of this program has led to a decline in the housing built specifically for seniors from 40% of the units in low income housing with project-based rent subsidies to 13% (Kochera, Redfoot & Citro, 2001). It is projected that within 10 years, all of the original project-based Section 8 HAP contracts will have expired and communities will need to have a plan in place for the well being of seniors who reside in these units. The combination of local market pressure and federal housing policy leave too many Detroit seniors vulnerable to the loss of their homes. SHP D works at the local, state and federal level to improve the environment for the preservation of affordable senior housing.