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New Program Could Bring More Workforce Housing to Northern Michigan

‘This is a huge win for housing.’

More workforce housing could be on the way to Northern Michigan.

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This come thanks to a bill signed late last year which allows municipalities and developers to enter into a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Agreement without first needing a tax credit from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). This essentially makes it easier for cities and developers to add more workforce housing to their communities.

“So, what the new legislation does, it allows for those developments to go forward. Abate the taxes to an extent and those projects could go ahead right [away] instead of waiting to see if they’re going to be funded,” Traverse City Attorney, Lauren Trible-Laucht explains.

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In the past city commissioners would pass a PILOT Agreement just for it to not go through due to the developer not receiving the funding. Now, the local government’s agreement pushes a project forward.

“So, when this new tool was made available by the state, the city commission is really ready to move forward with that, because they recognize there’s a housing issue in this region and in the city,” Trible-Laucht states.

Housing North’s Executive Director, Yarrow Brown, says Traverse City can’t be the only city that handles the housing burden. She says the city’s quick action on the new program is good to see and could be a catalyst for solving the housing crisis in Northern Michigan.

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“I would say Traverse City is leading this. We’re introducing it right now and letting all 187 units of government in our region know that this is a tool that they can use,” Brown admits.


The city is already in talks with one developer about a possible PILOT Agreement and says many more could be on the way.

“[Commissioners are] moving forward as soon as they can with this new tool and I think that can send a message that Traverse City is open to all people. The commission really wants to make a place for all residents to live in Traverse City and to use every tool to make that happen,” Trible-Laucht says.

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