DETROIT – A first of its kind investment to put a dent in a major problem in metro Detroit.
“We’ve talked to people from all over the state,” said Chad Benson, rental development director for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. “From the UP, all the way down to the southern parts of the state and rural areas and in more urban areas, the issue is the same.”
It’s called missing middle housing, which generally represents homes, townhouses, or multi-family apartment buildings for families making between $50,000 and $83,000 a year. Michigan’s median income last year, according to Census data, was $3,000 squarely in the middle of the missing middle.
MSHDA opened the tap on $50 million in federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act for developers to start building new homes. The money is meant to offset construction costs to keep rent or mortgages low for those families for 10 years.
“We’re really hopeful that it’s going to, you know, go a long ways in order to help sort of alleviate the burden that you know, missing middle households are having in terms of finding units that they can afford to rent or buy,” Benson said.
For now, just $15 million is being made available for developers, with more to come next spring but it will be a waiting game for places to be built. The plan is also to set aside 30% of the total money to be used in rural communities.
The money is first come, first serve, according to MSHDA. Developers can apply online here at MSHDA-MissingMiddle@michigan.gov.