Senate passes Victory’s affordable housing bills

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Roger Victory’s legislation to help address the shortage of affordable housing in West Michigan.

“Even before the pandemic, the exploding costs of homes was making the dream of homeownership unattainable for many Michigan families,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “As home prices in West Michigan have increased 10 times faster than wages over the last six years, it is having a huge impact on the ability of local employers to attract top talent to our area and hardworking folks to get into an affordable house to raise their family.

“These measures will help enlist businesses in addressing this problem, significantly boost our investment in affordable housing and ensure it goes where it’s needed most.”

Under Senate Bills 360 and 361, sponsored by Victory, businesses would be able to receive a 50% income tax credit for any investment in a qualified affordable housing project as approved by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which would determine eligibility for the credits.

Qualified projects would need to support individuals under 120% of the area median income and include investment in a local impact housing trust fund, down payment assistance, reduced-interest mortgages, mortgage guarantee programs, rental subsidies, individual development account savings plans or other similar projects approved by MSHDA.

SB 362 would allow local governments to create an attainable housing districts, and SB 422 would allow locals to establish residential housing districts for new developments of multifamily or single-family homes targeted toward people earning under 120% of the area median income.

SB 432 would give local governments flexibility with property tax agreements for projects being developed for workforce housing, and SB 364 would clarify that neighborhood enterprise zones are intended to be used for development of condominium and mixed-use housing to discourage sprawl.

The bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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