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Labor and Economic Opportunity

MSHDA marks major milestone with Key to Own program during UP visit

Misty Miller

August 18, 2016

MSHDA marks major milestone with
Key to Own program during UP visit

HOUGHTON, MICH. – Dollar Bay resident Tom Rossi is the 400th person to achieve the dream of homeownership through Michigan State Housing Development Authority's Key to Own program.

"This most definitely is a milestone worth celebrating for the Key to Own program," MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer said. "Not only is it the 400th closing, it’s a first in the Upper Peninsula. It was a pleasure to visit Mr. Rossi in his home and hear the story of how he went from voucher-holder to homeowner.” 

Key to Own helps families and individuals in the MSHDA housing choice voucher (HCV) program transfer their rental voucher to a homeownership voucher. 

“I worked really hard to clear all of my old debt and raise my credit score,” Rossi said. “It took me three years to save my portion of the down payment, but it was worth it. I’m proud to say that I am officially a homeowner.”

Rossi worked closely with MSHDA representatives and counselors at Chippewa-Luce Mackinaw County Community Action Agency to prepare for homeownership. MSHDA 's voucher program in combination with USDA Rural Development partnered to provide the financing for his new home.

To be eligible for the program, current HCV participants must meet the following requirements:

• Maintain an annual earned income of at least $15,000 and work at least 30 hours per week (exceptions for elderly or disabled persons).
• Be a first-time homeowner or have not owned a home in the last three years.
• Be in good standing with the rental HCV program.

“MSHDA is leading the nation in housing choice voucher-only closings,” said Elsenheimer. “Key to Own is changing the lives of our citizens here in Michigan.”

Residents can learn more or request an application by calling (517) 241-4474 or emailing

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit