Advocacy News – April 20, 2021
When it comes to workforce issues, Michigan businesses face no shortage of difficulties. Whether it is access to employee childcare, career-ready high school graduates or dealing with transportation barriers, the Michigan Chamber continually hears from members that numerous workforce issues prevent them from reaching their full potential.
While the Chamber focuses on solutions to all workforce issues, including the ones mentioned above, we are excited to join the private sector, nonprofit and philanthropic partners in working towards addressing barriers to affordable housing. Formally called the Housing Michigan Coalition, the Michigan Chamber will work together with other coalition members to address several challenges that prevent access to affordable housing.
The Housing Michigan Coalition’s website can be found HERE and provides details on how we will seek policy solutions to promote affordable housing. This bipartisan effort will include several different pieces of legislation, some of which were introduced last week. A summary of the bills already introduced are as follows:
- Employer Supported Housing Credit
SB 360, 361, HB 4649 and HB 4650 will provide an employer-supported housing credit. This legislation incentivizes employers to engage in a meaningful way to support their employees accessing housing near their workplace. Employers can claim an income tax credit equal to 50% of the total eligible contributions* made during the tax year.
- Attainable Housing and Rehabilitation Act
SB 362 and HB 4647 will create the Attainable Housing and Rehabilitation Act, which is modeled after the Commercial Redevelopment and Rehabilitation Act and enables local governments to support and encourage investment into the rehabilitation of attainable housing in Michigan communities. A local government can create an “attainable housing district” where property owners can apply for partial tax exemptions if they meet certain affordability criteria determined by the local government.
- Provide for Building Code Development Oversight
SB 363 and HB 4648 re-establishes the Code Promulgation Committee. The state of Michigan promulgates a new state construction code every three years. Previously eliminated, the Committee will be brought back and provide input on how to code developments affect affordable housing.
- Expand the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) Program
SB 364 and HB 4646 expand on an inventive program that has been successful in many areas across Michigan. Since 1992, NEZs have provided for the development and rehabilitation of residential housing for distressed communities by alleviating the tax burden on developers. With so many communities across Michigan facing an urgent shortage of housing, this bill would extend the opportunity to use NEZs to all Michigan cities, villages and townships.
For more information on the subject of affordable housing or other workforce development challenges, please contact Dan Papineau at email@example.com