Housing Stories

Individual stories about the impact of housing - positive or negative - can help build support and understanding of housing needs in our region. You can share your personal story about housing and how it’s impacted you, your organization, or your business (and keep it anonymous, if you like).


Here, you will find testimonials of individuals or organizations who have been directly affected by the limited housing in our region. If you'd like to share your story, click here to complete the “Get Involved” form or email us at info@housingnorth.org


"I'm a young professional who had just finished graduate school and received a job offer in Manistee. I was hired to start right away and move to the community immediately. Unfortunately, it took me almost a month and a half to find a place to live because there weren't any move-in ready housing options available.


I was lucky enough to find a person who did a favor for me and rented me their house (that was for sale) at an affordable rate for the length of my contract. If it hadn't been for that favor, I was going to have to move at least an hour out of the community or find another job."

Lissette Reyes

Manistee, MI

"I'm the Stafford's Hospitality Vice President. We have provided company owned housing for J-1 students for over 15 years because short term rental housing is unavailable in the summer months."

Reginald Smith

Petoskey, MI

"I desire to live in a community that is full of vibrancy, diversity, and creative energy. To create a community like that we need to tackle inequalities and mend cracks in our wonderful but imperfect area. Lack of affordable places to live is one of those cracks that is growing and having an affordable home is foundational to supporting the people and families that once here, will bring their greatness, further enhancing life for us all."

Derek Shiels

Petoskey, MI

"I heartily endorse the goals of Housing North and this campaign. If we want our communities to be places where young families, working people and all of our citizens can have a future, we need to address the critical gap in housing across the income spectrum. Let's do this!"

Woody S. 

Traverse City, MI

"Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital has been working with a regional collaboration known as MiThrive to complete a comprehensive assessment of needs in northern Michigan communities. The full regional assessment encompassed 31 counties, and over 150 organizations participated in some aspect of the Community Health Needs Assessment process. Our focus is on the needs of Wexford, Missaukee, Lake, and Osceola counties.


One of the major priorities identified for our region was basic needs of living. An example of how basic needs are linked to important health outcomes would be living in housing with physical problems (e.g. need for appliance, roof, and heating updates) is associated with poor self-assessed health, increased limitations to activities for daily living, and chronic disease. Faulty appliances and inadequate heating may increase nitrogen dioxide. Plumbing leaks, rook leaks, and inadequate ventilation increases mold, which are associated with higher rates of asthma.


Communities and housing not designed for senior accessibility can increase risk of falls, social isolation, loss of independence, and other problems for our quickly growing elder population. Physical activity levels increase in neighborhoods with safe sidewalks and streetlights, leading to safer neighborhoods with less crime, therefore reducing the risk of obesity. These kinds of basic needs are the root cause of many serious inequities in health outcomes. Needs like food insecurity and inadequate housing affect low-income and vulnerable residents the most, disproportionately putting them at high risk of many poor health outcomes. Improving these root-causes would make a much longer-term impact on health equity than program interventions like health education classes. Similarly, seniors are disproportionately harmed by these issues. Creating communities that are safe and healthy for seniors improves conditions for other populations as well."

Kim Benz

Cadillac, MI 

"I’m a Realtor with Coldwell Banker, and I work with many first time buyers. I get calls from many people who are losing their rentals for some reason, and they have nowhere to go. They have the monthly cash to make a payment, but no money to put down. They can’t get loans on the mobile homes that are the only things in their price range. Others who are in slightly higher price ranges just can’t find anything to purchase. It’s a huge struggle."

Sandy E. 

Elk Rapids MI

"I have recently started working as the Executive Director at the New Hope Center. We have 5 housing units; Men's, Women's and 3 family homes that we use as emergency shelters for people in the area. There is a need for affordable housing in the Cadillac area so we can help our clients get into a place of their own to call home."

Chris C.

Cadillac, MI

"I grew up in Suttons Bay in the 1960s. We raised our three kids in Suttons Bay, with our youngest graduating in 2012. In 2014, due to relocation to Lansing for work, we sold our home in Suttons Bay. I was fortunate to have a chance to move back here in 2017 and we bought a house in Long Lake Township. We could not afford to buy a home in Suttons Bay. There are fewer students in Suttons Bay Schools than were enrolled when I graduated in 1980, and that's unfortunate. The cost of housing is too high for young families. I would like to see changes not just in zoning, but also in construction codes, because the more stringent codes are increasing the cost of construction."

Darryl J.

Grand Traverse County