Housing Next, The Right Place, Inc. and Urban League of West Michigan have formed a partnership to lead West Michigan in driving a regional strategy for housing solutions in the implementation of Michigan’s first statewide housing plan.
The West Michigan Partnership region includes 13 counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa.
Regional hubs were selected by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and peers around the region based on capacity to implement the housing plan within their regional context and collaborate to move housing solutions forward.
“We are excited to take what we have learned as a partnership in Ottawa and Kent Counties to effectively engage multiple sectors and align stakeholders behind a plan that moves housing solutions forward in the region’, said Brooke Oosterman, Director for Housing Next, “We know that accelerating this work and expanding supports to other communities is critically needed to increase housing access and affordability across the region.”
Housing Next will serve as the lead agency with The Right Place, Inc. supporting outreach in the expanded footprint of the region and the Urban League of West Michigan ensuring equitable outcomes. Housing Next will be the fiduciary through the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation and lead contact for MSHDA. As one of the fifteen (15) Regional Housing Partnerships (RHPs) created as a result of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2022-10(2)(a)(3) the three organizations will work with community leaders and housing developers to identify local and regional barriers to affordable and attainable housing, including communications, local policy, equity, development financing and more. These collaborative efforts will result in a regional action plan that outlines strategies on how to address local housing issues. The regional action plan will be shared with MSHDA by Fall 2023.
“Housing impacts everything we care most about as a region, and it is a priority for The Right Place, Inc. to ensure we are supporting outcomes driven work that impact people, place and ultimately prosperity” said Randy Thelen, President & CEO of The Right Place, Inc.
The Regional Housing Partnership (RHP) will partner with local governments, developers, nonprofits, businesses, local health departments, grassroots organizations, philanthropic organizations, and other partners in West Michigan to understand specific housing needs and how local partners can engage strategies from the Statewide Housing Plan.
“We know that access to housing is foundational to economic advancement and equality. We look forward to supporting this work to empower every individual across the region through access to housing” said Eric Brown, President & CEO of The Urban League of West Michigan.
The Statewide Housing Plan, launched in 2022, is a strategic planning process aimed at increasing the accessibility of housing in Michigan by addressing racial housing disparities, increasing the stock of affordable housing and more. The plan highlights the need to engage with local housing agencies to ensure all Michigan residents can secure safe and affordable housing.
“The Statewide Housing Plan is meant to make a difference for all Michiganders, and we’re confident that Housing Next, The Right Place, Inc., Urban League of West Michigan and their partnership with community leaders, nonprofits and developers will help us better serve West Michigan,” said Tiffany King, equity, and inclusion officer at MSHDA. “By actively gathering insights and information from our regional housing partnership leads, we aim to ensure that every corner of the state receives the specific aid they require. Together, we can empower individuals in West Michigan with the housing support they deserve.”