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PHOTOS: Lt. Governor Gilchrist Tours Affordable Housing Project Converting Vacant School to New Homes


August 24, 2023



PHOTOS: Lt. Governor Gilchrist Tours Affordable Housing Project Converting Vacant School to New Homes

Project made possible by legislation signed by Gov. Whitmer to power economic development and invest in places around Michigan


LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II joined the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and local leaders in Grand Rapids to tour a former school that will be turned into affordable housing. The project will convert the existing, vacant school building into 27 homes in a condominium association.


“Our Make it in Michigan strategy is designed to help more people, businesses, and communities ‘make it’ here in Michigan,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Whether it’s renovating the site of the former Seymour Christian School, or building affordable housing on abandoned land, the TIF program will create good-paying jobs, grow the economy, and lower costs for businesses and families looking for affordable housing options.”


Last month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Public Act 90 of 2023. The bills power economic development in communities across Michigan by unlocking new tools to finance affordable housing and help communities address the shortage of affordable housing. This will help to achieve the governor’s goal to create or preserve 75,000 housing units over the next five years.


“Part of our pledge as the new majority is to amplify the voices that have long gone ignored, and that’s why we are putting a special emphasis on passing legislation that will increase access to safe, affordable housing,” said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “We are tackling this issue from every angle, from investing in housing programs and aid organizations to using new tools to encourage developers to break ground. No Michigander should be priced out of having a roof over their head.”


“Implementation of the new TIF tool will have a major impact across the state, helping fund the creation or preservation of housing for working families,” said MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey. “This tool gets us closer to meeting the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration goal of creating or preserving 75,000 housing units over five years and provides a predictable funding source for years to come.”


“ICCF continues to innovate to provide access to affordable housing, and we are glad that the Michigan Legislature is also bringing new innovative ways to address housing needs,” said Ryan VerWys, President and CEO of ICCF Community Homes.“The redevelopment of this former school will bring new life and housing opportunities in an area that is growing more vibrant every day.”


“It is our priority to put desirable housing options into the reach of all Grand Rapids families and residents,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “Grand Rapids, and local governments across Michigan, can now use this tool to support transformative placemaking efforts and to meet housing needs in our communities.”


“The expansion of TIF to housing provides an important financing tool for Grand Rapids housing development projects. Through TIF and other housing financing options, I look forward to accelerated progress on our goals to support housing at all price points consistent with the City’s values of equity, collaboration and innovation,” said Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington.


“Housing supply and affordability a critical workforce, talent and quality of life issue priority,” said Joshua Lunger, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Increasing the supply of attainable housing will have a positive impact on communities, residents and job providers across West Michigan.”


Make it in Michigan

A comprehensive strategy to make more in Michigan. From good-paying jobs; a skilled, talented workforce; vibrant places to live, work, and raise a family; and powerful tools to bring manufacturing and supply chains home, Make it in Michigan will continue the state’s momentum to build a brighter future.


The strategy aims to:

  • Make Michigan a top state for talent with low unemployment, higher labor force participation, more training and upskilling, and stronger talent attraction.
  • Make Michigan more competitive in key sectors like research & development, advanced manufacturing, and clean tech--electric vehicles, batteries, semiconductor chips to ensure long-term economic strength.
  • Make Michigan an arsenal of innovation where entrepreneurs and young companies have opportunities and resources to grow and expand.
  • Make Michigan a state full of attractive, vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and grow with investments to build more housing, expand access and lower the cost of child care, connect homes and businesses to high-speed internet, redevelop vacant or blighted properties, and bring new life to main streets and downtowns.  

The three pillars of Make it in Michigan are projects, people, and places. Governor Whitmer is focused on competing for and winning projects to bring manufacturing and supply chains home, investing in people so they can pursue their potential from pre-K through postsecondary and have their personal freedoms protected, and revitalizing places to make them more attractive places to live, work, and invest.

TIF Housing Event