By: Mary Hall
On Thursday, June 14th, Avalon housing and Faith In Action celebrated the Grand Opening of the Apartments at 533 N. Main Street, also known as the Sharon Ann Apartments. As previously reported in a press release written by Nancy Paul, the Director of Faith in Action, The Apartments at 533 N. Main have recently gone through some major renovations. These renovations include but are not limited to: new windows, new doors (for units as well as the building), new flooring, including base boards and carpeting/tile, updated plumbing, and updated electrical. While there were several contributors that were thanked at the open houses, Chelsea State Bank was a major supporter in this endeavor.
The Open House itself included decorations, speeches, refreshments and a ribbon cutting. It was a way to honor those who assisted with funding, and to show others such as potential renters how nice the apartments have become.
Faith in Action became involved with Avalon housing in no small part because Doug Smith, a Social Worker for Faith in Action, had personal relationships with two people from Avalon, and after approximately ten years of back and forth, they finally sat down and made a plan to do it, to bring affordable housing with a supportive social worker aspect to Chelsea. So, in 2017 when Avalon Housing purchased Sharon Ann Apartments, FIA was involved from the get go.
When asked if the apartments will be now known as The Apartments at 533 N. Main or remain The Sharon Ann Apartments, both Nancy and Doug replied “Both”.
Currently, the building is at full capacity, and while Avalon/FIA do not keep a running waiting list per se~ they do have a list of those who applied at the time of the open house when they were taking applications, and those people will be first in line should there be an opening. In other words, if someone called today, they would not be put on a waiting list because they are not holding an open application event at this time. When they do, then one would potentially be put on a waiting list, but they would first have to qualify. The first step in qualifying is that you have to be at or below sixty percent of the median income. Then, you’d need to fill out an application for section 8 through Jackson County and qualify. Although the apartments are in Washtenaw County, Avalon housing is in Jackson, and a deal has been worked out between them, FIA and Jackson County for the good of the residents of the apartments.
The highlight of the day was when City Council Member Cheri Alberston gave her speech showing such glowing support. That, along with the enthusiasm and positivity shown by everyone made it a banner day.