In Michigan, we’re known for putting the world on wheels, Motown sound, the nation’s largest freshwater coastline, outdoor recreation, arts, culture, and pure Lions grit. We are a state where people want to live, thanks in part to our natural resources but also because of our thriving communities and friendly neighbors, great small businesses and big industries, world-class colleges and universities, and so much more.

Amy Hovey is CEO and executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

One of the values we share at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) is the idea that all Michiganders should have a quality home that meets their needs, isn’t a burden to their monthly budget, and is located where they benefit from a range of amenities.

Historically, this wasn’t something we struggled with in this state. But right now, production of new housing and rehabilitation of our existing housing stock isn’t coming close to meeting the demand of all the folks who want to be our neighbors.

As a result, affordable and available housing is scarce, driving a lack of access to the market that’s hitting middle-income and lower-income families the hardest. In fact, since 2010, median home values went up 40% while our incomes only increased by 14%.

This crisis didn’t crop up overnight – and solving it will take sustained work all over the state as well as cooperation with and commitment from local, regional, and statewide partners.

Michigan’s Statewide Housing Plan outlines a set of goals, strategies, and statewide targets that together offer a roadmap for improving housing conditions in the state, a call to action for the entire housing ecosystem to work collaboratively to make it a reality. Working with regional partners, MSHDA is facilitating the local and regional work necessary to address the most pressing and prevalent issues that we identified together.

In Genesee County, we’ve identified a shortfall of over 7,000 housing units that we need to build and rehabilitate to address the supply shortage in the market so we can better meet the demand of the existing workforce. We also recognize that this is a moving target, as this county alone has seen about 20,000 new jobs created since January 2021.

We’re moving to meet this need with projects like The Grand on University, which recently redeveloped a formerly vacant lot, bringing 48 brand new rental apartments to Flint’s Carriage Town District. Projects like these also recognize that housing solutions can’t be one-size-fits-all, which is why a third of the units are designated as supportive housing for folks with special needs. MSHDA provided over $13 million in support for this project, as well as the vouchers necessary to make the Communities First vision for this project a reality.

We’ve been busy working on projects like this one all over the state, and across all our programs we had our most productive and best year yet in 2023. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer laid out a challenge for us recently in her State of the State address, to raise the bar and make 2024 another record-breaking year with $1.4 billion in financing supporting 10,000 units of new and renewed housing. We are up to the challenge and, with your help, we’re going to surpass our ambitious goals.