Upcoming 5-year Plan to Guide Housing Improvements in Mid-Michigan

The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition, in partnership with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction, will be providing an analysis and recommendations for housing conditions in Mid-Michigan.

In Mid-Michigan, the housing struggles many people are facing will not go unnoticed. More than 61,351 of Tri-County families and individuals do not have access to affordable housing, defined as housing that costs less than 30 percent of one's annual income. With the high costs of finding a place to call home, families are left with less money to spend on basic necessities such as food, transportation and medical care. Three local organizations have joined forces to address this growing problem - the need for fair and affordable housing in Mid-Michigan.

The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition (GLHC), in coordination with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, is developing a 5-year Fair and Affordable Housing Plan under the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. Under the guidance of the GLHC, the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction will be conducting the Regional Affordable Housing Study in order to provide an accurate analysis of the current housing stock and the programs in place that support affordable housing development and redevelopment.

The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition already addresses the need for more fair and affordable housing through their everyday initiatives. "A lack of affordable housing does not affect one particular subset of the population, but touches everyone, including young adults who need to live close to work, seniors who want safe and accessible housing, families who need housing that is convenient to quality schools, and those with special needs who require barrier-free housing. Everyone deserves convenient housing in safe neighborhoods that they can afford," stresses Executive Director of GLHC, Katherine Draper.

Due to the plan's focus on the Ingham, Clinton and Eaton Counties, the acronym "ICE" has been adopted. "ICE Fair Affordable Housing Initiatives: The Next 5 Years" is due for completion at the end of 2014 and will identify the strengths and weaknesses of housing in Mid-Michigan, recommend programs and initiatives, represent the needs of marginalized populations, improve neighborhood viability, increase sustainability, and give community members and lawmakers a tangible basis for change. The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition encourages people of all backgrounds to visit www.midmichigansustainability.org to learn more about this and other Mid-Michigan sustainability initiatives.

The Greater Lansing Housing Coalition (GLHC) is a non-profit community development corporation. The mission of the GLHC is to help the Mid-Michigan community prosper by providing housing assistance, revitalizing neighborhoods, and empowering residents through education and counseling. Since 1995, the GLHC has both constructed and rehabilitated more than 185 single-family homes, selling them to income-eligible, first-time home buyers. The GLHC also has four area housing subsidiaries with 260 apartments to assist low-income seniors, disabled persons and others needing affordable apartments. In addition to helping people obtain fair, safe and affordable housing, the GLHC provides credit, foreclosure and homebuyer counseling as well as homeowner education programs to the community at no cost. For more information, visit www.glhc.org.

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