For the second time in as many years, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan (CCSEM) CEO Paul Propson addressed the MorningSide, East English Village, & Cornerstone Village Community Advocates (MECCA) Development Corporation about the development of affordable housing at the nearby St. Matthew School. While last year’s address focused on CCSEM’s plans, Paul was eager to share that momentum for the project has grown and partners have joined the effort; the MECCA community was anxious to hear the updates.
MECCA’s mission is to empower and engage residents and businesses across the three Detroit neighborhoods of MorningSide, East English Village and Cornerstone Village with the knowledge, skills, resources and support to revitalize communities in a sustainable way for future generations. St. Matthew School sits in the middle of the MECCA neighborhoods, and the support of these neighbors is vital to the success of any affordable housing at the site.
In 2021, CCSEM shared that Catholic Charities was partnering with the St. Matthew parish community and Ascension Health to provide 46 units of affordable housing—including 23 units of permanent supportive housing—in the former school buildings on the campus of St. Matthew. Now, CCSEM was able to share the significant growth of partnerships in the effort.
Paul listed off the new partners and their contributions:
• A commitment by the City of Detroit of almost $3 million in HOME funds
• A major grant from the Tersigni Family Foundation
• A pledge from the Capuchins to furnish the new apartments
• A plan for on-site medical and behavioral health services provided by Catholic Charities and Ascension Health in the renovated school gym
Paul also shared that while the first two applications for Low Income Housing Tax Credits were not successful, CCSEM and its partners are committed to providing affordable housing at the school site and will be submitting again with a stronger application on April 1 due date.
“We have come so far on this development, with tremendous support from the St. Matthew parish community, the City of Detroit, Ascension Health, the Archdiocese of Detroit and so many other partners, that we are confident that we will succeed,” said Paul. “While succeeding on the first or second try would have been our choice, the delay has given us more time to build a stronger coalition. We are glad that our neighbors in MorningSide, Cornerstone and East English Village are a part of that!”
For more information on the full breadth of CCSEM’s programs and services, please visit www.ccsem.org.