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State awards grants to local non-profits to add more housing

TRAVERSE CITY — A number of non-profits in Northern Michigan received grants that will help bring more housing to the area.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Office of Rural Development is awarding 21 grants as part of it’s Rural Readiness Grant Program that supports housing and infrastructure projects in rural communities across the state.

Two of the Northern Michigan non-profits that received a $50,000 grant from the state are Wexford-Osceola Habitat for Humanity and Peninsula Housing in Leelanau County.


“I screamed, I actually had to go out of my office to see if any of the staff out in the other room heard me,” said Wexford-Osceola Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director Amy Gibbs. “It was really an exciting moment for us. "

Peninsula Housing’s President Larry Mawby said they’re “really pleased” they got the grant, as they plan to match it to bring a new affordable housing project to the area.

And while Habitat for Humanity hasn’t figured out exactly what they’ll use the money for, they say it will certainly help them achieve their goal to build 31 homes in the next five years.

“This is something that’s really going to put us in a position to move forward,” Gibbs stated.


Peninsula Housing has acquired three properties in their short two-year existence. Along with a duplex in Lake Leelanau and house near Suttons Bay Schools, they also have a 10-acre parcel of land near the corner of Herman and Pine View Roads. They say the money from the state will allow them to add more affordable housing on the plot of land.

“The ability for us to develop some more affordable housing that will provide people who work in the county to live in the county. It’s huge, it’s the kind of thing that the community of Suttons Bay needs now,” explained.

Both Mawby and Gibbs said they understand affordable housing in Northern Michigan may still be an issue, but they say the grant from the state and the efforts from non-profits across the region will solve that problem sooner rather than later.

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