Nation’s First Permanent Recovery Supportive Housing Development Recognized as Outstanding Development in the Special Needs Category 

Andy’s Place in Jackson, MI, has received the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Special Needs Category. The Edson awards recognize outstanding developments and organizations that have demonstrated especially meaningful impactful use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Recipients are recognized at a ceremony in Washington, DC, that brings together members of Congress, business, and nonprofit leaders to celebrate LIHTC developments that are strengthening communities, improving health, and boosting the economy in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods across the country. The awards are named in honor of Charles Edson, a longtime champion of affordable housing well-known for his role in establishing the LIHTC.

Andy’s Place received widespread support from pubic and private partners, including investments from local, state, and federal partners. The $13 million project is funded through a public-private partnership that includes investments from Cinnaire, Huntington Bank, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

“The housing credit has provided more affordable housing, including for special needs populations, than any other program in existence,” said Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire President and CEO. “We are delighted the Tax Credit Coalition has recognized Andy’s Place as a recipient of the prestigious Edson Award, one of the top honors in our industry. The LIHTC is a critical tool making permanent recovery supportive housing possible and we are honored to be recognized for outstanding use of this incentive. Andy’s Place serves as a model for communities across the country to address the opioid crisis and we appreciate this opportunity to bring awareness to this impactful development.”

Andy’s Place, co-developed by Milner and Caringella, Inc. and Community Action Agency of Jackson (CAA), is the nation’s first Permanent Recovery Supportive Housing (PRSH) development. Created in response to Michigan’s growing opioid crisis, the PRSH initiative was championed by Mike Hirst, a longtime recovery advocate who lost his son to heroin addiction, and developed by Cinnaire, the Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, MSHDA, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and the Michigan Governor’s Office. Andy’s Place addresses the need for long-term safe, affordable housing paired with onsite support services for individuals suffering from opioid addiction.

“I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the 2021 Edson Award than Andy’s Place in Jackson, Michigan. Through his own personal tragedy of losing a son, Mike Hirst has launched a groundbreaking effort to help community members struggling with opioid addiction. Andy’s Place is a first-of-its-kind affordable and stable housing facility to support individuals and families on the path to recovery. It truly is a life-changing initiative, and I am pleased that the Low Income Housing Tax Credit played a role in making Andy’s Place a reality,” said Congressman Tim Walberg.

“The work of Andy’s Place is the first of its kind in Michigan and enables Andy’s Angels to continue their tough yet beautiful work of recovery,” said Senator Mike Shirkey. “Everyone is but one degree of separation from someone who has needed help overcoming hardships like addiction. It is wonderful, but not surprising, that Andy’s Place is being recognized and praised for their important work in our community. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient.”

The development brings Drug Court supervision of tenants and support services into the property, efficiently linking residents with programs proven most effective in recovery from opioid addiction. Addressing homelessness issues among people with substance abuse disorders by providing safe, quality housing in a supervised environment contributes positively to an increase in successful drug treatment outcomes and offers a long-term solution for addressing and recovering from opioid addiction. Andy’s Place offers 39 one-bedroom apartments for individuals referred by the Michigan Drug Treatment Courts along with a separate building with 11 two-bedroom units to provide homes to families. Research has shown that a key component to successful recovery is the restoring of families, and the PRSH program provides the opportunity to keep families together in a safe, secure environment.

“We’ve learned that safe supportive housing plays a key role in longterm addiction recovery,” said Mike Hirst, father of Andy Hirst and founder of Andy’s Angels. “Addiction recovery success is 3.5 times the national average when housing is connected to supportive services and job training. Andy’s Place brings together these components and more. I’m proud that my son’s legacy is contributing to the recovery of so many impacted by opioid addiction.”

“Congratulations, Andy’s Place! I am working to address the critical need for behavioral and addiction services and am so impressed by the efforts of the community in coming together to help meet this critical need. I am personally inspired by the story of Andy’s Place and the incredible leadership and work of the Hirst family. Thank you to all the partners who have made this innovative housing project a reality,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Andy’s Place features comprehensive on-site support services, including case management and recovery programs, along with recreational and life skills programs, financial health and employment classes, and sober and wellness activities. The CAA partners with Andy’s Place to provide a variety of services for residents to achieve housing stability, including access to financial coaching, education and credit counseling, and connection to the local workforce development system for employment opportunities. CAA provides a full-time advocate and employment services on site, with healthcare services also provided by a medical doctor in residence. Through these partnerships and connections to other partner organizations, residents are referred to a variety of off-site services, including healthcare, social services, and job, recreational and training opportunities.