Five thousand new homes.
Five thousand homes rehabilitated.
That’s what the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Regional Housing Partnership serving Northeast Michigan wants to see in the near future to help soothe a housing crisis that’s affecting our region’s economy.
It’s an ambitious plan, but the problem is severe and the solutions need to be, too. We support the partnership’s goals.
The Region E Regional Housing Partnership serving Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency, Alcona, Crawford, Cheboygan, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego, Oscoda, and Roscommon counties wants to tap into leftover COVID-19-era stimulus funds to build or renovate 10,000 homes across those counties, Lenny Avery, economic development coordinator at the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce and lead on the local Housing Partnership, told News staff writer Steve Schulwitz for a recent story.
The homes, Avery said, could be anything from apartments to single-family homes to senior residences to condominiums. Avery told Schulwitz the region has the inventory of land and buildings available to meet the goals, it’s just a matter of making it affordable for developers to build.
It’s an important goal to reach. Not only are many existing residents getting priced out area housing, newcomers have struggled to find housing to move here. Some employers have said they’ve struggled to fill open positions in part because would-be employees can’t find a place to live in Northeast Michigan.
U.S. Census Bureau estimates showed the population across Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties grew by more than 500 people because more than 1,000 moved into the region from elsewhere.
We have to find a place to put all those people and others who want to follow them.
So we’re glad to see the local housing team take on ambitious goals, and we urge the state and federal governments to do all they can to help make the team successful.