The Michigan legislature approved a $1.1 billion supplemental spending bill that dedicates federal resources to housing and community development programs. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the spending package into law on January 31, making the bill the earliest to be signed into law in a new congressional session in Michigan since 1947. In addition, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order on February 6 to streamline the construction and preservation of affordable homes and released an executive budget recommendation on February 8 that includes substantial resources for affordable housing.
“Michigan is facing a housing crisis, and CEDAM is thrilled to see our state leaders prioritize investments in a range of housing programs to tackle it,” said Jessica AcMoody, policy director at the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM). “Funding effective programs, including Michigan’s housing trust fund, will help our field achieve our state’s ambitious Housing Plan goals and ensure all Michiganders have access to a quality, affordable place to call home.”
The supplemental spending bill dedicates $150 million to the creation of an affordable housing tax credit gap financing program. The governor’s office estimates that these resources will enable Michigan to build or refurbish 2,000 homes. The bill allocates $75 million in federal funds for the Michigan State Land Bank Authority to make competitive grants to communities to address vacant and blighted properties. It also invests $100 million in Revitalization and Placemaking Grants, which will be used to convert underutilized office, commercial, and community spaces into affordable housing and outdoor dining areas, among other things. The package includes $25 million to create a state water shutoff prevention fund and $50 million for the Missing Middle Housing Program, which invests in housing development for households with incomes that fall between 185% and 300% of federal poverty guidelines.
Following the enactment of the supplemental spending bill, Governor Whitmer also signed an executive order that reorganizes the state’s administration of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The Michigan Strategic Fund, which is responsible for a broad range of economic development programs, previously administered CDBG. Under the new executive order, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will oversee the program. The restructuring is intended to create more flexible funding options for housing projects and accelerate the timeline for home construction and renovation.
Two days after signing the executive order, Governor Whitmer released her executive budget recommendation, which would invest nearly $80 million in affordable housing programs. The budget includes $50 million for fiscal year 2023 and establishes ongoing funding for the Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund (MHCDF). Although MHCDF has existed since 1966, the legislature has not always appropriated money for it. Securing sustainable resources for the state’s housing trust fund is a top priority for CEDAM and other housing advocates. The executive budget also proposes $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the Attainable Homeownership and Apprenticeship Program, which supports the acquisition, renovation, and resale of properties in both urban and rural land bank inventories. It would allocate $15 million of ARPA funds to improve living conditions and expand housing options for migratory agricultural workers and would direct $2.6 million to implement the expanded Attainable and Workforce Housing Tax Credit programs.
The Michigan legislature and executive’s early focus on housing and community development in 2023 follows the release of Michigan’s first-ever statewide housing plan in September 2022 (see Memo, 9/26/22). To meet the plan’s goal of constructing and rehabilitating 75,000 homes, Michigan housing and homelessness advocates will work to build on this session’s initial wins and push for more permanent investments in housing solutions, including those proposed in the executive budget recommendation.
To review a full list of CEDAM’s policy priorities for the 2023-2024 legislative session, visit: https://cedamichigan.org/policy/priorities/