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Redevelopment of Detroit apartment building is a crucial test case for inclusive housing

Luke Hotchkiss found himself living in the center of dynamic changes occurring in downtown and Midtown Detroit. Then his low rent apartment, the Milner Arms, was purchased by a developer who intended to renovate and market the building to upscale tenants.

Marcus Swanson Jr., one of several older residents who had lived in the Milner Arms for 14 years, was also stunned and upset when he learned about the deal. Then he was invited to attend a meeting involving the developer and city officials where he learned the bad news: He would have to move. But there was good news as well: He could return.

Several residents who met low-income federal guidelines were told they could return at a 5 percent increase in rent the first year, followed by 1 percent each successive year, as long as they chose to live in the apartment.

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