Legislators introduce $1.65 billion housing proposal

Michigan House and Senate Democrats today introduced a funding package that will leverage federal and state dollars to tackle the many affordable housing challenges facing Michiganders

Over the next five years, the bills would invest $1.65 billion into affordable, healthy housing.

Senate Bills 1238 and 1239—introduced by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) and House Bills 6511 and 6512—introduced by Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) would construct and renovate affordable and low-income housing across Michigan to better meet demand.

They would also improve the quality and safety of existing housing by creating a whole home retrofit program that would invest in new insulation, windows, fixing roofs, and remediating lead and asbestos. The bills also combat climate change and reduce utility bills by investing in all-electric appliances and renewable energy systems. The bills also invest in Michigan’s workforce and would support efforts to attract and retain workers in good-paying construction jobs. 

“Michiganders across the state are struggling to find affordable housing, and often when they do, it’s a home or apartment with drafty windows, holes in roofs, old gas stoves and mold,” said Sen. Chang. “Two out of every five homes were built before 1960. These homes need updates to keep utility costs low and ensure they are safe for families to live in. This $1.65 billion investment will improve tens of thousands of homes across Michigan, from Detroit down to Ironwood, reap economic benefits for the state, and increase the quality of life for Michiganders, especially those struggling to make ends meet.” 

The policies behind the bills were inspired by MI Affordable, Healthy Homes, a $1.65 billion budget proposal put together by a coalition of housing, business, and environmental groups called Resilient Homes Michigan. Its plan paired with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's first-ever statewide housing plan released in 2022, which included a recommendation to increase the supply of affordable and healthy homes.

“Right now, low and moderate-income Michigan families are spending up to 21% of their income on monthly energy bills,” said Rep. Sowerby. “This funding bill prioritizes long-term energy savings by better insulating our homes, investing in electric appliances, and providing incentives to help low-income residents install renewable energy systems. This will cut costs while improving indoor air quality for families.”

The $1.65 billion in funding is a mixture of federal funding and state funding. Investing one-time dollars in infrastructure like housing will create economic and community development opportunities for Michigan businesses and workers, while also improving the lives of Michigan residents.

Exact language for Sen. Chang's and Rep. Sowerby's legislation can be found here and here.

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  • Beau Brockett