Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Westland, MI - Mayor Robert J. Thomas

Westland Friendship Center

Because the number of seniors participating in the daily activities at the Westland Friendship Center was continually increasing, Westland City officials sought and received two Section 108 loan guarantees from HUD to be used in the construction of a 4,620-square-foot addition to the existing 12,568-square-foot senior citizen complex. The addition houses a 68-foot by 48-foot activity area dividable with folding partitions into four smaller rooms. An existing conference room and an office adjacent to it were enlarged, two accessible restrooms were added, and an automatic entrance door was located near the parking lot.

As a result of the expansion, the Friendship Center can now accommodate crowds as large as 2,000 for special events when the new activity area and a portion of the original building are opened. There are computer stations for use by the seniors, televisions that can be networked to show the same program throughout the Center, and a hair salon. Other features include a brick hallway where walls are adorned with photographs of seniors in the Center's hall of fame, and a carpeted bench along the front hallway where seniors can sit as they wait for the bus..

The two Section 108 loans provided a total of $830,000 for the project. The first loan, for $530,000, was approved in 1996 and is being repaid over a five-year period. The second loan, for $300,000, was approved in 1997 and is being repaid over10 years. An additional $100,000 in 1996-97 CDBG funds was budgeted for the project to cover all preliminary and final architectural plans and development fees, as well as to establish a contingency reserve for the project. Seniors and local businesses raised $85,000 to pay for the new addition's furnishings.

Contact: James Gilbert, Director of Housing and Community Development, (734) 595-0288

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J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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