Community-Led Group Hopes to Find Answers to TC Housing Problem

"There's some people in this town, residents in this town that believe that more neighbors more better." Ty Schmidt Founder, Goodworks Lab

The battle for more housing in Traverse City continues as members of the community are getting involved.

Housing 5A new group led by people who live in Traverse City met Tuesday evening to figure ways they can help solve the housing problem. The new group, Live TC, says they provide the public and political support to see meaningful housing solutions through.

The founder of Good Works Lab, Ty Schmidt, says Live TC is made up of a broad and diverse group of people who care.

“[We] care that our teachers, and firefighters, and nurses, and waitstaff, and grocery store clerks are able to live here,” Schmidt says.

Good Works Lab backs Live TC. Schmidt says community groups like Live TC are important in making sure city leaders do the best they can for their residents.

“We have conversations about different strategy’s, communication, engagement about how to support our elected officials in seeing these changes through. They want to and we want to help them make that happen with a sense of urgency. And not keep talking about it for the next 20 years,” Schmidt explains.

After Monday’s study session where the City Planner advocated for policy changes, it seems the city is moving more urgently. Schmidt says they are on the right track, but the Executive Director for the Traverse City Housing Commission, Tony Lennych, says they need to move fast.

“People who start their careers in communities end up putting down solid route structure, raise families, start businesses. That’s what we’re going to be missing if we don’t address this problem,” Lennych states.

The Traverse City Housing Commission says the message from new community led groups like Live TC is important. Lennych says who is delivering the message is just as important.Housing

“If it could come from a younger cohort of people to demonstrate that there is a need for this housing because people want to be here, they want to start their careers here,” Lennych says. If that voice could be heard more, this would be a good thing. Because that really is what we’re missing.”

Although both Schmidt and Lennych understand not everyone can live on the bay. They believe everyone should be able to live in Traverse City.

“We could be a place for everyone to live. We may not be able to live in downtown Traverse City, but we could be able to find a place for everyone to survive and thrive in this community,” Lennych states.