Construction has started on a new affordable housing development for elderly members of the LGBTQ+ community in Ferndale.
The facility with 53 affordable apartments will be known as the Shepherd House, named after the late Raymond E. Shepherd who died in 2018.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said at a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday that Shepherd was a well-known figure in the Ferndale community.
“He lived on my block so I would see him always. He didn’t drive. He was always walking downtown — taking advantage of things — stopping in at the restaurants. And he just…everybody knew him,” Coulter shared.
Congresswoman Haley Stevens, who represents Michigan’s 11th District, was also at the ceremony, saying the project supports the goal of enabling Oakland County residents to age in secure housing.
“We are going to have to continue investing in affordable housing here in Oakland County,” Stevens told WDET. “This is something that our county executive Dave Coulter has prioritized. This is something that I’m working on in the United States Congress.”
The Shepherd House is being built at the corner of 9 Mile Rd and Paxton St on a remediated brownfield site. Officials anticipate the complex will open in fall 2024.