Partnership will work to bolster Detroit’s lease purchase program

Cinnaire and CHN Housing Partners recently announced they have entered into a partnership to bolster the performance of our lease purchase developments in the City of Detroit. The partnership leverages CHN’s nationally recognized expertise in creating a successful lease purchase model to assist with nearly 200 single family homes developed locally through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. CHN has opened an office in Detroit and hired staff to lead the effort.

“Our partnership with CHN will provide Detroit residents with much-needed affordable housing while fulfilling the need to support homeownership for some of Detroit’s most vulnerable neighborhoods,” said Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire president & CEO. “CHN has developed a successful model that supports renters’ long-term goal to become homeowners. We look forward to working with CHN to ensure all Detroit residents have the opportunity to live in healthy, vibrant communities.”

Additionally, Cinnaire and CHN are building the Detroit Year 16 Initiative, a city-wide coordinated approach with major stakeholders such as the City of Detroit, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), and non-profit organizations that will leverage the best practices honed by CHN across the larger Detroit-wide lease purchase portfolio of approximately 1,500 single family units. This is a similar approach to what CHN has successfully accomplished in the City of Cleveland. In addition to sharing staff time and expertise, Cinnaire has provided CHN a grant to support this initiative.

“The expertise we developed in Cleveland over the last 36 years is precisely what we’re bringing to Detroit’s neighborhoods through our partnership with Cinnaire, a respected leader in the affordable housing industry,” said Kevin Nowak, general counsel and director of strategic initiatives for Cleveland-based CHN Housing Partners.

A patient pathway to homeownership for low-income families, lease purchase programs developed through LIHTC are intended to be sold to residents at the end of the 15-year compliance period. Cinnaire is the owner of the properties that are located on the east and near west sides of Detroit. CHN will assume property management and maintenance, work with lease purchase residents to prepare them for homeownership and sell the properties to residents who demonstrate readiness for homeownership.

“This is personal to me,” added Nowak, a Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan. “I’m thrilled to bring what my organization does best to my hometown.”

CHN is the nation’s largest single-family non-profit affordable housing developer using LIHTC. To ensure the overall success of the program, CHN has developed a comprehensive platform that starts at development, and is followed by strong property and asset management, homeownership preparation, and non-traditional sales and financing – all focused on supporting families so they can thrive first as stable residents and then as homeowners long-term. Since 1987, CHN has developed 2,200 and sold more than 1,000 lease purchase homes, 85 percent of which were sold to lease purchase residents. Of the families who have taken title over the last 5 years, 99 percent have been successful as homeowners.