The Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM) dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort in the last two years advocating for policies designed to increase workforce housing production across the state. On Dec. 13, Gov. Whitmer signed several of these promising initiatives into law.
Dawn Crandall, HBAM’s EVP of Government Relations, said that urgent action was needed to address the state’s workforce housing crisis with Michigan’s economic future at stake.
The four bills signed into law will help break down barriers to residential housing development and focus on creating workforce housing for those individuals who fall within 60% to 120% of the area median income. The central tenants of the bills include:
- The Attainable Housing Facilities Act (Senate Bill 362), modeled after commercial redevelopment and rehabilitation acts, will enable local governments to support and encourage investment into the rehabilitation of attainable housing in Michigan.
- The Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) Act (SB 364) extends the opportunity to use NEZs to all Michigan cities, villages and townships.
- The Residential Housing Facilities Act (SB 422) will allow a temporary tax abatement on qualified new housing development in districts established by local units of government. The abatement would enable the renovation and expansion of aging residential units, and assist in or encourage the building of new residential units in these districts.
- Allow for Payment in Lieu of Taxes Option for Local Governments (PILOT) (SB 432). This legislation would allow local governments the discretion to allow PILOT agreements for developments that are not applicants for state or federal tax credits, thus allowing a needed tool for governments and developers/builders to partner together to address local workforce housing needs.
The legislative success for builders in Michigan didn’t happen overnight. Housing Michigan — a coalition of more than 20 statewide organizations and dozens of other regional groups, including HBAM — unveiled its legislative agenda in April 2021 on the steps of Michigan’s Capitol. The coalition worked tirelessly to get the bills passed.
HBAM plans to continue working with the Housing Michigan Coalition on the policy agenda for the upcoming legislative session.