LANSING, MI – Housing Michigan, a coalition led by the Grand Rapids Chamber, Home Builders Association of Michigan, Michigan Municipal League, and Housing North, with dozens of members from across the state including businesses, builders, local governments, and non-profits, unveiled their legislative agenda on the steps of Michigan Capitol in downtown Lansing. The agenda is focused on addressing the state’s housing crisis through a series of bipartisan legislative initiatives. Numerous legislators, bill sponsors, and supporters were in attendance, including Senators Brinks, Daley, Moss, Schmidt, and Victory, and Representatives Cambensy, Huizenga, Sabo, and Tate.
“Our members have said that housing supply and affordability is a critical workforce, talent, and quality of life issue in West Michigan,” said Joshua Lunger, Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Supporting a healthy housing market and the supply of attainable housing will have a positive impact on communities, residents and job providers across Michigan.”
“Kent County is facing a critical shortage of affordable housing,” said Representative Mark Huizenga. “This plan represents a common-sense public-private partnership to address the needs of my constituents.”
“Innovation and investment in Grand Rapids have made West Michigan a destination for seeking opportunities, but that reality has also caused a shift in the housing market,” expressed Senator Winnie Brinks. “Many of my constituents across a broad spectrum of income have known or experienced this problem for quite some time and could tell you the many barriers that they face when looking for a home.”
“In West Michigan where I serve, wages have increased nearly 6% since 2015, but the average price of a home has increased by over 60% during the same period of time,” shared Senator Roger Victory. “We can attract industry, but the question is how do we connect them with the workforce?”
The Housing Michigan Coalition is focused on creating and expanding tools for local governments to support the development or rehabilitation of housing supply that is attainable to more Michigan citizens. The common principles around the various tax credit and proposed initiatives include:
- Local Control & Flexibility – local units will be able to decide many of the terms of proposed programs, including affordability requirements, length of any credits, and where assistance can be applied (e.g., allowing up to 120% of area median income (AMI) and program term lengths). In short, allowing housing tools to be applied based on local conditions and need.
- Workforce housing – these tools will provide the most benefit for residents who have difficulty obtaining market-rate housing but have more income than would allow them to qualify for “affordable housing” assistance.
The following legislative initiatives were introduced today:
**Additional legislation will be introduced soon sponsored by Senators Daley, Horn, Schmidt & Victory, and Representatives Cambensy, Lilly, Roth & Tate.
The Housing Michigan Coalition consists of community, business, and government organizations whose efforts focus on increasing housing supply and affordability; enhancing the accessibility and affordability of homes, and supporting economic and job growth for all Michigan families. For detailed information on the legislative agenda, coalition partners, and background information, visit https://housingmichigan.weebly.com