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Grants From Leelanau Groups Hope to ‘Move the Needle’ on Housing in Leelanau County

Housing 5

Thanks to two grants Leelanau County is one step closer to more housing.

The Leelanau Township Community Foundation and Leelanau Christian Neighbors teamed up to provide grants to Housing North to launch a Housing Ready program in Leelanau County. Housing North’s Executive Director, Yarrow Brown,  says they’re very fortunate for the two funders.

“It’s a shared capacity model where we’re hoping for a 50 percent philanthropy and 50 percent units of government to support a full-time position for three years that’s placed in Leelanau County. And that will be helping work on all things housing in that community,” Brown explains.

Brown says they’ve gotten through the first part and now they need the units of government from the county in order to create the new position. She says she thinks the county’s involvement will help move the needle on their housing goals.

“We are hopeful Leelanau County will support this. We have been presenting to them since they opened up the opportunity for ARPA request. Manistee County has supported this position in a similar way as well as Emmet County. Charlevoix County has also contributed to our position,” Brown says.

Housing North is currently doing something similar to this in Emmet and Charlevoix Counties. they have two full-time positions using a mix of philanthropy and unit of government support. They are attempting to bring the same thing to Leelanau and Manistee Counties. She says thanks to the grants Leelanau County is one step closer.

“We’re so grateful for all of our nonprofit partners and the funders who have helped us get this far. We’re really hopeful that we will realize enough funding in the next few months to be able to bring this opportunity to Leelanau County and Manistee County,” Brown states. 

The grants combined for a total of $40,000 that will be given over a span of three years. Brown says that now they just need to get County Commissioners on board to move forward.

“Right now we’re in such a crisis at this point where it really is all hands on deck. We feel that the counties supporting these positions are extremely important. There are a lot of townships and villages in our region, especially Leelanau County that don’t have the same capacity or resources to support this type of technical service.,” Brown says. “We do feel like having the counties lead this effort shows that they do care and that they are that first unit of government really that can support this. [They can] offer those partnerships with the other townships and villages to work together to make this happen.”