Housing North works to identify and influence policy that impacts development opportunities in rural Michigan. With input from a diverse range of partners, we work to provide recommendations for change in our communities.
Housing North COVID-19 Statement: Michigan's response
This year, our worlds and realities have significantly changed due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we adjust to life under Michigan’s emergency response and stay-at-home order, one thing is clear: our homes have never been more necessary to our individual and collective well-being than they are right now. We need them now to protect public health - and going forward, to minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing North’s COVID-19 Position and Policy Recommendations discuss Michigan's response to the pandemic, priority actions and some recommendations to consider to address immediate and long term housing needs. Click here or the links below to access the statement.
Legislative & Policy Initiatives
With input from the Housing North Advocacy Committee, Housing North has developed an Advocacy Strategy, and is continuing to work with Borealis Strategic to advocate for policy pillars identified in the strategy (for the complete strategy, click on the link below):
Taxes: Develop a new and innovative tax structure for property owners seeking to provide long-term (greater than one month) rental housing for the workforce.
QAP Changes for rural communities: Amend the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) to better address rural housing needs in the region.
Vacation rentals: Mitigate impacts of short-term rentals on year-round housing stock.
Funding: Create new and preserve existing revenue streams that can be used for housing initiatives.
Rural Interests: Ensure that rural housing and related needs are considered part of the structure of state government.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit - Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP)
The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program is the nation’s biggest funding source for affordable housing. In Michigan, it’s administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). MSHDA awards funding for projects based on a “rulebook” - the qualified allocation plan, or QAP - that’s updated every two years. The QAP was due for an update in 2020 giving Northwest Michigan the opportunity to share our concerns and priorities for the program.
On February 6, 2020 Housing North held a round-table with developers, employers, local government officials and community organizations to provide an overview of the low-income housing tax credit program and QAP update process, identify barriers to using the program in Northwest Michigan, identify potential changes to the program that could benefit Northwest Michigan and provide advocacy recommendations and talking points.
Based on that input, Housing North recommendations for 2020 QAP update process focused on changes that would help address the needs of rural communities in our region:
Flexibility for walk-ability requirements
Lower points for certain financing approaches
Flexibility for transit requirements
Tier structure for proximity to amenities
Click on the links below to learn more about the recommendations and download the sample statement of support.
MSHDA has postponed the update process, as well as awards for the April 2020 round of LIHTC funding, in light of the evolving pandemic and emergency response. Housing North will post updates on the process as they become available.