Michigan Senate Passes Bills to Give Local Governments the Tools to Combat Housing Crisis

The Michigan Senate has passed a bipartisan package of bills in an effort to address the housing crisis throughout the state.

Each bill aims to give local governments the tools they need in order to address the housing crisis at the local level.

Traverse City Senator Wayne Schmidt sponsored one of the bills in the attainable housing package.

It would eliminate property taxes for housing projects, something Senator Schmidt says is even more necessary in our region.

“Making sure that people that are making that range of 40, 60, 80, even $100,000 have good housing options and it’s really missing in northern Michigan and in the upper peninsula,” said Senator Schmidt.  

He states families and businesses are suffering as a result. 

Another bill would give tax credits to businesses for employer-assisted housing projects. 

“If you get that, let’s say, $50,000 – $60,000 a year job, but you have no housing options, whether it’s a starter home or even an apartment for that matter, you can’t afford to take the job because you have nowhere to live,” Senator Schmidt stated. 

In Emmet County, Resort Township teamed up with the cities of Petoskey and Harbor Springs. Together, they hope to come up with enough money to hire someone to focus on the area’s housing crisis. 

City Manager of Harbor Springs, Victor Sinadinoski, has already pledged $5,000 dollars this year and plans to give $10,000 the next two years. 

“We all have very similar situations and we all kind of rely on each other in townships for our workforce and our daily needs and I think a collaborative approach is probably the best way to tackle this and I’m glad to see that Petoskey and Resort Township are on board as well,” said Sinadinoski. 

Meanwhile, the attainable housing bills passed by the the Michigan Senate now head to the State House.