KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Applications for new affordable housing in Kalamazoo could be made available as early as Thursday, officials with LKF Marketing and the LIFT Foundation said.
The two groups have been working to bring 60 studio units to the former Knights Inn Motel, located at 1211 S. Westnedge Ave. as part of the LIFT Foundation's LodgeHouse Project.
“We feel like even though it’s just 60 units, it’s still critical to bringing our community forward to getting people off the streets," President and CEO of LKF Marketing Heather Isch said.
The units will be able to house one to two people.
Isch said they have tried to make the application process easy and accessible, with priority going to applicants experiencing homelessness.
“We are looking at overcoming many of those traditional barriers," she said. "That’s why, even at LodgeHouse, Integrated Services is there on staff to help people overcome some of those things. It could be addiction, mental health challenges, those kinds of things.”
The application process looks to follow a housing first approach which prioritizes providing permanent housing to those experiencing homelessness, Isch said.
The approach looks to offer more flexibility to an individual's needs-- for example, it doesn't require applicants to address their issues, such as behavioral health problems, or graduate through a series of services before they can access housing.
The price for each unit will depend on each individual's personal and financial situation.
“Getting people into a situation where they have a home, that’s going to help with safety, better quality of life, all of those things," Isch said. "It starts with a home so you can move forward with solving other challenges.”
As of Thursday, the project had raised $182,794 of its $2.5 million goal.
The project is not receiving any government funding, officials said. Rather, the money is being raised by community groups and individual donations. Donations can be made on the LIFT Foundation's website. The project goal also includes future funding for the project, such as operational and maintenance costs that may come up.
Despite being short of the goal, Isch said the units are expected to be completed by April.
Applications are available by calling 269-350-2015 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.