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Advocates for homeless urge cities to increase affordable housing options

creative commons
Poverty has doubled in Livingston County over the last 5 years

Many Michigan families remain at very high risk of homelessness after the Great Recession, says an advocacy organization.

Eric Hufnagle, executive director of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, say there are things cities can do other than wait for the economy to improve – like increase the amount of affordable housing.

Hugnagle says many people who become homeless  have jobs, but the jobs don't pay enough to let them afford rent.

He encourages city leaders to take a look at policies that may discourage developers who might be interested in building a low-income housing units.

"Are there zoning regulations that may inhibit a developer from wanting to come to a community," he asks,  or are the processes that a community has in place onerous?"

Cities should also revise their master plans to make it easier to increase affordable housing, says Hufnagle.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.