Michigan’s Governor and Top Legislative Leaders Talk Housing
GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER Michigan used to be the place that provided a ladder up into the middle class for thousands of families, where you could earn enough to raise a family in a house and an American-made vehicle in the garage. But today Michigan families are struggling, and home ownership has become increasingly difficult. We all have a role to play in solving these problems, which will require a strong partnership with state, local and community leaders working alongside businesses and workers to meet their needs. The budget that I introduce will focus on addressing these shortfalls to build strong, vibrant and healthy communities across the state.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MIKE SHIRKEY Housing issues in one community can differ significantly from housing issues in another community. I do not think there is a “one-size-fits-all” approach to solving housing issues around our state. We must be creative and flexible as we examine the needs of individual communities and find what barriers exist at the state level that prevent communities from pursuing creative solutions to their unique housing needs. Removing barriers is where the state can help communities and the industry address affordable housing concerns.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER JIM ANANICH Too many families, particularly young families, are having a difficult time finding a home that fits their needs and budget. The administration and legislature of the last eight years was particularly focused on policies designed to meet the priorities of businesses, and I want the next eight years to be focused on policies that support the needs of families and their household budgets. I’m committed to working with my colleagues and the governor to make it so workers have stronger earning potential and are able to attain the right home for their needs right here in Michigan.
HOUSE SPEAKER LEE CHATFIELD Michigan has made significant strides in recent years creating new options and stronger incentives for people to invest in our local communities in many different ways. Those efforts, combined with Michigan’s strong economy, have helped the housing market rebound and begin a new run of solid, consistent growth. As our economy continues its comeback story, families are beginning to return to the state instead moving away, which will only continue to strengthen and diversify the demand for housing.

Michigan Builder and the HBA of Michigan asked our state’s newly elected leaders to each answer three important housing-related questions for this issue. In addition to the important question of workforce, we asked a couple of key questions related to the ever increasing cost of housing, government’s impact on that, and the concern about the availability of decent housing options for the average Michigan citizen. Take a look at their answers and drop them a note if you agree, disagree or want to share a story or bit of information with them about the challenges facing our industry.

The availability of obtainable housing options for families in our state is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in communities across the state. Is there a role for our state government to take in working to address these shortfalls and, if yes, what role should that be?