Believe it: Ballenger Highway’s eyesore will soon become a neighborhood oasis

Believe it: Ballenger Highway’s eyesore will soon become a neighborhood oasis

Momentum is building around Flint’s economic development initiatives. Just week’s after debuting its Coolidge Parks Apartment development, Communities First, Inc. announced the ground-breaking of its newest development, Berkley Place Apartments.

The project addresses several important community needs, including blight affordable housing and neighborhood redevelopment, according to Glen Wilson, president and CEO of Communities First, whose Coolidge Parks project exemplified the city’s pent up demand for affordable housing.

The opening of Coolidge Park Apartments, a widely celebrated and applauded effort, amassed more than 200 applicants prior to the opening of the 54-unit development. The project proved  pent-up demand for affordable housing in Flint. Photo courtesy of Communities First, Inc.

More than 200 families were vying for space in the 54-unit development, opened in September.

Wilson expects similar demand for the new 33-unit Berkley Place Apartments, which will be built on vacant property at 12027 Ballenger. The property has been a community eyesore and a topic of discussion at community-based meetings aimed at blight reduction.

“We are excited to see this project move forward,” says Wilson.  “While there are some people who don’t agree that everyone in our community deserves quality affordable housing, but Communities First, Inc. and our partners are tireless advocates for those in need.  We look forward to residents moving in and getting involved in the community with a fresh start at this new development.

Communities First is partnering with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), City of Flint, Genesee County Land Bank Authority, Chemical Bank, Insite Capital, Genesee Community Health Center, Genesee Health Systems, Flint/Genesee County Continuum of Care, Wellness Services, Inc., Legal Services of Eastern Michigan and several others, according to Wilson.

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