OUR PARTNERS

WHO WE ARE

Housing North was organized in 2018 by a cross-sector group of regional housing partners to overcome the communications, policy, and financial barriers that stand in the way of housing solutions. It's governed by a ten-county Board of Directors that represent business; philanthropy; local, county, and tribal government; workforce development; and housing agencies. Housing North activities are supported by partners including Rotary Charities of Traverse City, the Frey Foundation, and Networks Northwest. is a 501c3 that supports communities, developers, employers, and other stakeholders as they work to create housing in Northwest Michigan.

 

WHY WE EXIST

A shortage of housing in Northwest Michigan is taking a toll on residents and businesses. Many residents struggle to make ends meet while living in housing that’s too expensive for their budgets – or they spend more money and time on long commutes to and from work and services. Many young families leave the region to find lower costs of living, and all too often, potential residents turn down job offers in the region because they can’t find housing they can afford. Businesses that have opportunities to grow are often unable to hire new employees from outside of the region - because they can’t find the home they need at a price they can afford.

 

As housing agencies, local governments, developers, and employers work to address the region’s housing shortages, they continue to run up against the same challenges in the development system:

  • Land and development costs that make housing unaffordable
  • Zoning that doesn’t allow the type of housing that’s needed or more affordable
  • Public opposition to new development or zoning changes
  • Taxing and funding criteria that discourage the types of development that are needed

 

As Northwest Michigan communities began to address the development system, Housing North was organized to offer assistance with some of these systemic issues.

 

GET INVOLVED: HOUSING NORTH COMMITTEES

The Housing North Board of Directors is nominated to represent different sectors from each county in Northwest Lower Michigan. As it works to implement its strategic plan, a committee structure provides for additional representation and assistance:

 

  • The Advocacy Committee provides guidance and input on policy issues, and is currently working to develop an advocacy strategy.
  • The Communications Committee is working to develop a regional housing campaign to raise awareness and commitment to housing solutions.

 

Membership on both committees is open to anyone who is interested in participating. To get involved, or for more information on the committees, please contact Sarah Lucas at the information below.

OUR BOARD MEMBERS

Amanda Elliot

Leelanau County Housing
Action Committee

 

Precia Garland

Missaukee County
Administrator

 

Caroline Kennedy

Village of Elk Rapids

 

Tony Lentych

Traverse City
Housing Commission

 

Josh Mills

City of Frankfort

 

Steve Parsons

Little River Band of
Ottawa Indians

 

Maureen Radke

Charlevoix Community
Foundation

 

Carlin Smith

Petoskey Regional
 Chamber of Commerce

 

Kelly Smith

Baker College

OUR STAFF

Sarah Lucas, Executive Director

sarah@housingnorth.org

 

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