• Detroit, MI, USA - December 20, 2014: The Detroit Institute of Arts, shown on December 20, 2014, is hosting an exhibit on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

Home Guide 2018 News Hits

BTL Staff
By | 2018-05-01T13:50:02+00:00 May 1st, 2018|Guides, Home|

Hagopian Cleaning Services Adds Air Duct and Dryer Vent Cleaning
Members of the community will begin to see new purple trucks on Michigan roads. Hagopian Cleaning Services, a Michigan company since 1939, is growing again. Recently, the premier rug cleaning company added a new product to their list of household and commercial cleaning services – air duct and dryer vent cleaning. Hagopian invested in two new fully-equipped trucks with their own state-of-the-art cyclonic technology, along with an exclusive ten-step process. This allows Hagopian to clean HVAC systems and dryer vent so they will operate at optimum efficiency and reduce dust and allergens in the home. A unique disinfectant process is an additional option that is available when cleaning HVAC systems. Hagopian uses an EPA-approved solution with no perfumes or masking agents that eliminates odors by destroying organisms at their origin. Heat from the dryer can create a fire hazard when lint and dust accumulate in the vent so Hagopian suggests cleaning the dryer vent about twice a year.

Hagopian celebrates 79 years in business this year. Call the purple truck for services at 800-HAGOPIAN (424-6742) or visit OriginalHagopian.com.

First-Time Buyers in Michigan Say There’s a Lack of Starter Homes
Detached condos and traditional condos are fielding strong interest from empty nesters and first-time buyers with prices as low as $154,000, plus monthly association dues for lawn care and snow removal.

But the development of the condos is a rarity this Spring because few Michigan home builders bother to construct entry-level houses, which are generally priced around $225,000 and below and have slim profit margins.

According to the Detroit Free Press, builders in and around southeast Michigan say it is now hard to make a profit on entry-level homes because of higher construction materials costs, a shortage in construction labor, local zoning and regulation issues and the cost of land in desirable areas.

It is also taking builders longer to finish construction on homes, largely because of overstretched subcontractors. These dynamics have compelled many builders to focus on houses with bigger profit margins, often those priced $400,000 and above.

Michigan Granted up to $123 Million for Two New Veterans Homes
Michigan will get millions of dollars from the federal government for building two new veterans homes in Grand Rapids and Southeast Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder announced April 13.

According to an MLive.com report, Ronny Jackson, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has authorized the state of Michigan to spend up to $38 million in federal dollars for the Grand Rapids facility and up to $42 million in federal dollars for the planned Southeast Michigan facility, in addition to the $42 million in state funds approved by the state Legislature in 2016.

The projects have already gotten the go-ahead from state officials as part of a new plan to transition away from one large veterans facility into two smaller facilities. The new Grand Rapids veterans home, set to be built on the current 90-acre campus in Grand Rapids, will be significantly smaller than the existing facility, which currently houses about 355 residents. Though the old home won’t immediately close, the expectation is the new facility will ultimately replace it. The Southeast Michigan site hasn’t yet been determined.

DIA Plaza and Midtown Cultural Connections Project
The Detroit Institute of Arts and Midtown Detroit Inc. announced in April it is sending a Request for Qualifications to landscape architecture and urban design teams for a “DIA Plaza and Midtown Cultural Connections” design competition.

The design competition centers around enhancing and enlivening the DIA’s exterior campus and seeks an outstanding integrated design team for developing an urban and landscape design strategy and cultural center connection framework. Teams will be asked first to create a strong design vision that reimagines the DIA’s grounds, making them highly visible, welcoming, flexible and functional to support year-round outdoor programming. Secondly, they are to take elements from the DIA design and extend them to physically connect to the neighboring institutions to encourage walkability, improve wayfinding, identify other opportunities for public art and programming and consider shared parking strategies and improved design.

The design competition is one of the initial steps in realizing DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons’ vision of the museum as a “town square.” An extensive civic engagement process will also feed into this process, as the success of the project depends on the many opportunities to engage a broad range of stakeholders from the surrounding communities, the city and the region beyond.

The RFQ asked firms to submit their qualifications by April 30. The eight firms will make public presentations in Detroit on June 13–14. Three finalists will then be selected to enter stage three in the competition: to design and amplify the possibilities of the project. The three firms will make public presentations on Jan. 23, 2019 at the DIA and the winning team will be announced in March 2019.

Non-Profit that Helps Detroit Homeless Losing Funding
A Detroit non-profit that helps people who are homeless or facing eviction is losing a major chunk of its funding, according to a Michigan Radio report.
Ted Phillips, director of United Community Housing Coalition, said in the report the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t renewing two grants UCHC relies on for 40 percent of its annual funding.

The group helps about 1,000 homeless people in Detroit each year, and helps people navigate a confusing and sometimes predatory real estate landscape in Detroit. UCHC counsels people to find housing legitimately owned by honest landlords. UCHC will inspect the housing, verify landlord ownership and often provide some sort of financial assistance for people to get into a new home. UCHC also provides some job placement services and GED classes, according to the report. HUD classifies the kind of counsel that UCHC provides people who are facing near eviction as supportive services.

The report says HUD is prioritizing resources toward efforts to provide housing to people who are “hardcore homeless,” living on the streets.
UCHC is appealing the decision by HUD, but the timeline isn’t clear. To prepare for a likely loss of a major funding source, the report said UCHC has already made some layoffs and is looking at other ways to save money.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.