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Michigan Association of Planning Outstanding Graduate Student awarded to Planning NEXT’s Newest Team Member!

By October 11, 2023October 16th, 2023Awards

If you were to ask strangers on the street what their thoughts were on housing affordability, what do you think would be their answer? What would be your answer? How are we to determine if housing is affordable? 

It is undeniable that housing affordability is a trending topic, especially in urban areas. For some major cities, such as Detroit, mitigating the housing affordability crisis and preventing resident displacement is a pressing issue. That is why a group, including Planning NEXT’s own Maria Garcia Reyna, from University of Michigan’s Urban and Regional Planning Program sought to develop a methodology that could be used city-wide to determine if and where Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) was at risk. To create this assessment, the team used the Oakman Boulevard neighborhood along the Joe Louis Greenway as a case study. For four months, extensive property research, policy analysis, and community engagement activities were conducted to examine the risks that NOAH properties might face in the city of Detroit. 

The final product resulted in a methodology that could be recreated throughout all neighborhoods in Detroit. The City of Detroit Housing and Revitalization Department has already begun to utilize the assets that the Urban Planning students developed. 

Late last week, Preserving Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing in Detroit: A Case Study of Oakman Boulevard Community along the Joe Louis Greenway was awarded the 2023 Outstanding Graduate Student Award by the Michigan Association of Planning! 

We are grateful to have Maria on our team, along with her passion for people and creating equitable places!