Recently, a USDA Rural Development project received one of the 2011 Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. The ceremony was held in the state Capitol rotunda and dozens of citizens and legislators from across the state turned out.
Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Gary Heidel opened the ceremony by noting the rich historic heritage of Michigan’s towns and cities and how the preservation of these sites is vital to keeping our state a place where people work, live and spend their leisure time.
A total of six projects received awards, and USDA Rural Development’s contribution was the rehabilitation of the former Durand High School into Sycamore House, a 40-unit senior residential facility and living community. The Woda Group, LCC and its community partners took extra care to maintain the historic nature of the structure, which was built in 1920 but had been idle since 1965.
USDA Rural Development provided a loan guarantee through the Multi-Family Housing Guarantee Program. Construction began on August 12, 2008 and was completed in mid-February of last year.
Durand, which is known for its historic railroad station, now has another link to its proud past and a former neighborhood eyesore is once again a bustling center for the community.
To learn more about USDA’s multi-family housing programs and how they can be used to provide safe, affordable housing in your community, click here.