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Building Michigan Together Plan’s housing investments will empower Michiganders in Genesee County
April 21, 2022
MSHDA ready to help area renters, homeowners and neighborhoods with new and existing programs
LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) is moving forward with key housing initiatives after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Building Michigan Together Plan into law last month. The plan, which include some of the largest infrastructure investments in Michigan history, sends $654 million to MSHDA to support existing rental and homeowner programs. It also paves the way for more housing and associated programs in underserved urban and rural areas, including Flint and Genesee County.
“Every Michigander deserves a foundation for economic success and opportunity and that starts with having an affordable place to call home. Because of the bold investments in the Building Michigan Together plan, more Flint and Genesee County families will be able to stay in their homes with the aid of mortgage and rental assistance,” Governor Whitmer said. “The plan also addresses a longstanding need by funding the construction of thousands of affordable, attainable housing units which means more Flint area residents will have a stable foundation to pursue their potential right here in our great state.”
The law appropriated the remaining $383 million in federal funds for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program. According to MSHDA’s public dashboard, the program has already helped about 116,000 Michigan renters and landlords recoup about $660 million in costs for rent and utilities. This includes assistance to more than 5,100 renter households and landlords in Genesee County and more than $29M in rent and utility support.
These additional dollars will give MSHDA and its statewide network of partners the resources they need to help thousands more tenants facing pandemic-related hardships avoid eviction while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent.
The plan also makes the remaining $121 million federal appropriation for the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF) available to help more homeowners prevent the personal devastation of foreclosure.
The Building Michigan Together Plan also invests $150M in the future of housing in Michigan, particularly in underserved rural and urban areas. This includes:
- $50 million investment in the Housing and Community Development Fund to meet the housing needs of low-income households throughout the state, fill financing gaps, and incentivize developers toward the creation of more affordable housing.
- $50 million to create a missing middle housing gap fund to increase housing stock supply by providing cost defrayment to nonprofit developers investing in, constructing, or substantially rehabilitating properties that target households between 185% and 300% of the federal poverty level.
- $50 million for clean energy improvements to incentivize energy efficiency and promote health or safety for single family and multifamily residential properties and to provide energy assistance.
“We thank the Governor and legislature for this much-needed funding. These investments are key to helping us fulfill our mission and put the fundamental housing needs of Michiganders first,” said MSHDA Acting Executive Director Gary Heidel. “We’re pleased to be able to keep the CERA and MIHAF programs running uninterrupted so thousands of Michigan renters and homeowners can stay stably housed. Added investments in innovative programs will help increase our state’s housing stock, inching us closer to meeting Governor Whitmer’s ambitious goal of creating or preserving 75,000 units of affordable housing in five years. It also will incentivize energy efficiency and improve overall housing affordability for the low- and moderate-income residents we serve.”
The increased funding could mean more opportunities like the Flint Home Improvement Fund, which has been a successful citywide program managed by Genesee County Habitat for Humanity and funded by MSHDA, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, City of Flint, and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. The program helps Flint homeowners repair, improve and renovate their homes through low- or no-interest loans.
Heidel also said MSHDA has done exhaustive research and analysis in the process of developing the first ever Statewide Housing Plan for Michigan and these additional resources align well with several of the agency’s action steps related to the plan.
The new housing programs stemming from the Building Michigan Together Plan could be launched as soon as late summer.