Michigan is approaching a near-crisis in affordable home building, according to the head of the Home Builders Association of Michigan.
In an interview with the Detroit News
, Bob Filka, CEO of the Lansing-based builders’ association, said that bank lending for affordable housing developments are limited while the regulatory and construction costs for these projects have become onerous. Simultaneously, he added, there is a growing demand for larger homes that provide greater returns on investment.
“It’s a multifaceted challenge and problem for the state,” said Filka. “We wanted to put a framework out there that said, ‘Hey, we live and breathe this stuff. We are telling you these issues collectively are going to cause a major problem for this state if we don’t do something about them.’”
Filka noted that Michigan has built an average of 28,000 homes annually during the past 50 years, but only 16,000 new single-family homes are forecast for completion this year—far below the 25,000 to 30,000 new single-family homes per year need to keep up with population shifts, demographic changes and the normal life cycles of older housing.
The builders’ association recommended a new partnership should begin between the state housing authority and economic development organizations to determine how local municipalities can manage land development, housing and renovation approval processes. The group also called on local businesses and government leaders to give more priority attention to the affordable housing issue.