Nonprofit seeks $ 2.5 million to renovate Kalamazoo motel as labor and material shortage slows affordable housing project


KALAMAZOO, MI – The LIFT Foundation of Kalamazoo is soliciting donations to help cover unforeseen costs and meet a revised schedule to open a new affordable housing complex by April 2022.

When completed, the project will have 60 furnished studios and will prioritize housing for currently homeless people, such as those who have lived in settlements, a new statement from the non-profit housing provider said on Tuesday.

Services will also be available on site for residents to help them make the transition to housing and make this transition a success.

Related: Kalamazoo motel turns into apartments for the homeless

The property, located at 1211 S. Westnedge Ave. in the Vine district of town, was once a Knights Inn. The LIFT Foundation bought it in January 2021 with the intention of creating affordable housing.

In the four months before construction of the property began, the foundation provided temporary housing to 67 people, including families, who were homeless in Kalamazoo.

During this period, service providers from Kalamazoo’s Integrated Services Harm Reduction Team worked on-site, assisting residents with needs such as obtaining food assistance, health treatment mental health and drug addiction, obtaining identity cards and working with them to obtain housing vouchers. .

Related: Deadlines are looming for homeless people living in Kalamazoo hotels as long-term solutions are explored

Since those who used the hotel space as temporary accommodation were moved at the end of May, construction work continues on the site. The occupants are now expected to be received by April 2022, the statement said.

The statement cites material related to the pandemic and labor shortages. But, even so, project managers report that work has been done on demolition, cropping interior hallways, cropping units to allow for kitchen space, HVAC and plumbing work, installation electrical panels in all rooms, a building scale fire safety sprinkler system and ongoing roofing work including all new shingles.

The affordable housing complex is designed and built by CSM Group, InForm Architecture and Lockhart Management & Consulting.

Drywall installation is expected to begin by the end of October. Work scheduled for November includes replacement of windows, door frames and exterior doors, handrails and guardrails. The siding installation is expected to take place in December, the statement said.

“Finding ways to keep progress has been important to our team professionally and personally,” said Todd George, CSM Group Program Director. “We have seen the motel formerly located here deteriorate over the years and are proud to be part of the property revitalization to create comfortable and affordable accommodations.”

While a lot of work has been done, material and labor shortages have driven up the cost of the project and delayed it by two months, officials said. To help cover unforeseen costs and meet the revised schedule, the LIFT Foundation and its partners are renewing a call for donations.

So far, 40 donations totaling approximately $ 171,000 have been received of the project’s $ 2.5 million goal.

“We’re excited to see measurable changes taking shape at LodgeHouse,” said Lisa Willcutt, vice president of Lockhart Management & Consulting, LLC. “While the delays and additional costs have been frustrating, we are still very committed to completing the LodgeHouse project and welcoming residents as soon as possible. “

Donations to the project can be made online at or by sending a check payable to “LIFT Foundation, A Nonprofit Housing Corporation” to Lisa Willcutt c / o Lockhart Management and Consulting, 2725 Airview Boulevard, Suite 202, Kalamazoo, MI 49002.

For more information on the LIFT Foundation and the LodgeHouse project, visit

Established in 1966, the LIFT Foundation is a community resource for the construction, preservation, operation and maintenance of housing for low-income people in western Michigan. LIFT strives to secure funding for local housing needs and provides efficient and professional property management with the end result of creating greater stability for individuals and families who wish to improve their quality of life.

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