Affordable senior housing project moves forward

ISHPEMING — After several weeks of debate between members of the Ishpeming City Council, and a lengthy public comment session at Wednesday’s meeting, the Jasperlite Project is moving forward.

Community Action Alger-Marquette, CAAM, has spent the last two years working on Jasperlite, an affordable housing unit for senior citizens at the site of the former Bell Hospital in downtown Ishpeming. The project will be funded by low income housing tax credits administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, MSHDA. Wednesday was the last opportunity to get the city’s approval before the MSHDA application deadline and the room was packed with locals ready to voice their opinions.

“I am in full support of Jasperlite Senior Center. We need something like this,” said Ishpeming resident, Dianne Betts. “I’m a senior and I am interested in going to something like this. I live alone.”

“All of us are for the elderly, all of us are for the disabled, all of us are for veterans and this project may have some value, but that ordinance you’re about to take in and possibly approve, needs to be fine-tuned,” said Ishpeming resident, Ron Lovel.
The council moved to approve payment in lieu of taxes for the property, which would remove property tax and instate a flat tax of four percent of the net revenue for the property. The proposal will be off to Lansing for MSDHA approval within the next few days. News of the project’s approval status is expected this summer.