Live Detroit began in 2011 to promote living in the Downtown, in an effort to reverse the urban core’s population loss. Originally named Live Downtown, the program expanded its scope to include adjacent neighborhoods and eventually the entire city. Ten years later, Live Detroit has accomplished its goals of attracting residents to the city as Detroit’s home buying and occupancy rates have remained high, and the program is no longer needed.
The original program had operational support from the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, the Hudson-Webber Foundation and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to distribute corporate-funded incentives over a five-year period to individuals interested in renting apartments or owning a home Downtown. More than $5 million in cash subsidies were distributed between 2011 and 2016 and more than 2,000 employees decided to buy or rent living spaces in areas of the city like Corktown, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, Midtown, Woodbridge, and Downtown. Participating companies included, but was not limited to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, DTE Energy, OneMagnify (formerly Marketing Associates), Rocket Mortgage (formerly Quicken Loans), and Strategic Staffing Solutions.
While the financial incentives ended in in 2016, the goal to attract people to live in the city remained. Through the support of the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation, the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) led the thoughtful evolution of the program. The DDP organized a cross-sector advisory team, and with input from the executive director of the Live Baltimore program developed a new Live Detroit program model, brand, and community engagement strategy.
Live Detroit promoted living in the city, connected prospective buyers to resources and helped hundreds of people find their home in Detroit.
Although the sun has set on the Live Detroit program, DDP is still committed to supporting residential living in the city of Detroit. Former Live Detroit Program Manager, Najee Clarke, has included a list of resources you may find helpful in navigating your home search.