Advocacy News – May 20, 2022
This week, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce signed onto a letter urging the Michigan House of Representatives move a package of bills that address housing supply and attainability throughout the Great Lakes state. Senate Bills 362, 364, 422, and 432 have made their way through the Michigan Senate and into the House Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance, chaired by Representative Julie Calley.
Affordable housing continues to be a concern for employers across the state and country, and continuously adds a workforce barrier for the business community as the talent shortage refuses to let up. To read more about the bills, and how they can positively affect your community, see below.
“The Housing Michigan Coalition, with the support of dozens of associations, communities, businesses, builders and non-profits, has made advancing legislation to support housing supply and attainability a top priority. Our bipartisan legislation is designed to begin addressing Michigan’s urgent housing challenges and comes to you having passed the Senate with overwhelming support.
The legislation has key principles:
- They are opt-in. Through public-private partnerships with housing providers, developers and builders, local leaders can take action to meet their community needs. There will be local control over if, when, how, and for what to use these tools for to support housing.
- Flexibility is provided to ensure the tools work in communities across the state, from the Upper Peninsula to Detroit to West Michigan. There are guardrails and caps, but it is ultimately controlled at the local level. Local officials maintain the ability to negotiate and target support based on project realities and the benefits it will provide to their community.
- The goal is to support market-based forces to increase housing supply where it is needed most-attainable housing for working households. Research shows that there is a significant gap in housing at all price points. This effort creates solutions to address this need and will have impact across the housing spectrum.
The legislation uses three proven concepts that have been active in Michigan for years to create flexible and locally driven incentives for workforce housing. SBs 362/422 are modeled on Commercial/Industrial Facilities Exemptions, SB 364 extends NEZ to allow all local units to use them with some added language to protect against sprawl and SB 432 allows for local PILOTS (or PILTS) for workforce housing without requiring state or federal subsidies or programs.
These bills create tools for local governments to partner with non- and for-profit developers, builders and property owners to create or retain affordability and drive investment in housing that is attainable to more households across Michigan. The public and private partners will make decisions based on community goals and site-specific needs, project costs and economic viability of potential investments.
Creating conditions that support a healthier housing market and increase the supply of attainable housing in Michigan will have a positive impact on access to jobs, health outcomes, economic and community development, student outcomes, reducing poverty, quality of life and more.
As you know, the need to address housing is urgent, and this is a critical step towards a better future for all Michiganders. We urge you to vote yes on Senate Bills 362, 364, 422 and 432.”
For questions or more information, contact Leah Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.