GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is leading a new coalition that’s taking aim at the state’s housing crisis.
Housing Michigan is comprised of the Chamber, Home Builders Association of Michigan, Michigan Municipal League, Michigan North and more than a dozen other organizations committed to development and rehabilitation.
“Housing supply and affordability is a growing issue,” Grand Rapids Chamber Senior Director of Government Affairs Joshua Lunger told News 8 Friday. “What we hear (is) it’s a talent retention and attraction issue, it’s a quality-of-life issue. And as part of our mission to make a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all, you kind of need desirable living and communities that people can find places to live in to be part of that.”
The push is in response, in part, to a recent study from the chamber that examined how widespread the housing need really is in Kent County.
“We need 22,000 units that aren’t currently planned for, by the time the study was completed, by 2025. That is a lot of buildings,” Lunger said.
The coalition has already secured bipartisan support in Lansing to introduce legislation focused on three areas: local control, flexibility and workforce housing.
“Our bill sponsors include several West Michigan legislators from both parties and we’ve got legislators from northern Michigan, Southwest Michigan, you know, every part of the political spectrum,” Lunger explained. “And I think that really shows how broad the interest in this issue is and we feel really proud to be a leader on it and looking forward to getting these bills actually passed.”
You can learn more about the legislation on Housing Michigan’s website.