Over the years, the Detroit (Michigan) Housing Commissions (DHC) charge has changed from building and operating housing for low income Detroit residents to facilitating affordable housing development. The now obsolete "project"-based model of providing affordable housing to lower-income families has been found to be detrimental to public safety, educational attainment and economic vitality. As a result, the DHC is replacing its old housing units with a more sustainable model of mixed-income and -ownership developments to create livable environments for Detroiters of a variety of income ranges.
McKenna worked with the DHC to develop a plan for over 900 units of new housing on the former Herman Gardens Housing Project site. Plans for this 100+ acre site include affordable rental and home ownership units as well as market rate single family homes. McKenna conducted a new housing market analysis to identify the number of supportable units on the site and worked with the DHC and their selected developers to revise the site plan to best capitalize on market dynamics. The new housing is under construction.