Ann Arbor has long prided itself on being a tolerant and inclusive community. However, we are pricing more and more of our neighbors out, faster and faster every year. If we want to remain an economically diverse city and an economically stable county, we must invest in a housing market that makes sense for everyone. At the end of the day, if you work in this community or spent your life paying taxes in this community, you deserve the opportunity to live in this community.
Affordable & Accessible Housing
The demand to live in Ann Arbor is rising and continues to push housing prices up every year, for homeowners and renters alike. As a community, we must do more to stem the tide of rising housing costs and make Ann Arbor accessible to people of every income level. Specifically, we should:
- Grow the affordable housing stock by 2,800 over the next 20 years. It is a safe and moderate way to ensure Ann Arbor and Ward 3 remain attainable.
- Focus on the “Missing Middle” of our housing market. That’s residents making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year (50-100% of the median income). These are our teachers, retirees, restaurant workers, and young professionals.
- Promote innovative renting alternatives, like accessory housing. This option allows older residents to stay in their homes and provide cheaper alternatives to renters.
- Incentivize higher energy and water efficiency to reduce recurring costs for residents.
While better than most communities, it is clear that our approach to homelessness needs to improve. In the last few years, Washtenaw County has reduced veteran homelessness to a functional zero. However for many, the lack of affordable housing options is still a barrier to permanent housing. And for many more, the lack of supportive services make permanent housing a distant reality. To provide the necessary level of care, we should:
- Support “Rapid Re-Housing” programs that prevent families in an employment or health crisis from becoming homeless.
- Grow the affordable housing stock by 2,800 over the next 20 years.
- Explore shifting the Delonis Center’s funding to focus transitional housing opportunities on Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor residents only.
- Partner with social service organizations to provide the continuum of care necessary to transition from homelessness to permanent housing and place in the workforce.
- Ensure anyone seeking help, regardless of residency, is housed in an emergency.