MSU Extension hosting housing policy discussions with SWM officials


A series of workshops for southwest Michigan government leaders to learn about housing issues and policies is being planned by the Van Buren County MSU Extension office.

MSU Extension government vitality educator Tyler Augst tells us the Michigan State Housing Development Authority just finished a study on housing needs statewide, and there is a shortage.

Broadly speaking, the sort of needs we’re seeing across the region and state are a need for a greater variety of housing types,” Augst said. “So, thinking about the last several decades in Michigan, we’ve had a trend towards building large lot detached single family homes, but we’re seeing a demand both from families that are smaller in sizes and households that are smaller than they have traditionally been, but also because of pricing constraints, a demand for smaller forms of housing, for missing middle housing.”

Augst says he’s teaming up with the Southwest Michigan Regional Housing Partnership to talk with officials about how they can create policies that attract housing developers. Topics of discussion will include the current housing situation, the history of zoning used as a tool for exclusion, strategies to assess housing needs, and zoning policies.

“Building a Foundation for Attainable Housing” workshops will be held in Lawrence, Coldwater, and Kalamazoo. Augst says they’ll each be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for housing issues to be explored.

All “land use decision makers,” as Augst calls them, are invited.

You can register right here.