The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills today that would allow municipalities to award a range of tax incentives to developers for affordable housing projects.
Local and statewide groups under the Housing Michigan Coalition — including the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Home Builders Association of Michigan, Michigan Municipal League and Housing North — have been advocating for the passage of the bipartisan-backed legislation.
The six-bill package — Senate Bills 360-362, 364, 422 and 432 — gives local governments more flexibility and control over affordable housing programs while expanding “workforce housing” for people who may have difficulty obtaining market-rate housing but make more than what qualifies for affordable housing. Bill language also gives parameters to local governments to customize legislation to meet their needs for different levels of affordability.
“Housing is a foundational piece for our communities and economy,” Josh Lunger, director of government affairs at the Grand Rapids Chamber, said in a statement. “It impacts access to jobs, employee retention and attraction, health outcomes, student success and much more.”
The bills now go to the state House where testimony has already been held on companion bills.
“I’m particularly proud to be part of this bipartisan package because of what it means for the greater Grand Rapids area,” Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, said in a statement. “This legislation gives our local units of government the tools necessary to meet their particular housing needs, especially for those who are financially stable yet don’t have enough income to keep pace with market demand for housing. This is a win-win solution for our communities and their residents. I urge our colleagues in the statehouse to support its passage.”