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Michigan Housing Authority has plan to put millions into affordable housing

indysystem - stock.adobe.com

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has a plan to distribute more than $63 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Those funds are to support homeless and at risk people across the state.

The plan will need to be approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Planning known as HUD.

If approved, the money will be used for creating affordable housing, eviction prevention and financial assistance and case management that will help families experiencing homelessness find new housing.

It'll also be used for buying non-congregate sheltering, such as motels that offer private rooms for people experiencing homelessness.

Kelly Rose is the chief housing solutions officer for Michigan’s housing authority.

“Yes it's going to take a couple of years to get those new units built because it isn't a super fast process. But we're very hopeful. A couple of years people will have an easier time finding a new place to live," Rose said.

Rose says there are currently between 55,000 and 60,000 people experiencing homelessness in Michigan.

Over $43 million dollars will go towards building affordable housing with low-income housing tax credits. Officials anticipate 1,000 to 1,200 new rental units with 275 to 300 of them being dedicated as permanent supportive housing. $4 million will go towards supportive services for those families living in supportive housing.

"And we intend to make this at a variety of different price points so that people that are a little bit more in the middle income aspects are also getting access to new units and also people who are really our most vulnerable in Michigan, people experiencing homelessness that are really low income have the hardest time of anybody finding a unit, finding a new home if they've been evicted or are in an emergency shelter," Rose said.

The state is putting $5 million towards eviction prevention assistance, such as paying up to six months of arrears and up to three months of future rent assistance.

$1 million for 3 years will be set aside to assist agencies with finding people experiencing homeless a new place to live.

MSHDA plans to allocate $6 million for non-congregate shelters.

The last $2.5 million is for planning and hiring staff.

"We know that affordable housing is desperately needed all across the state and in every community," Rose said. "So, you know, this is just one program that we're going to be, you know, that will be rolling out over the next six months or so with new funding sources that have just recently been appropriated to really try to increase affordable housing as much as we can and to use the resources as efficiently as possible to make as many new housing units."

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.
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