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This legislation will open up new opportunities to tackle the state’s housing affordability crisis   


LANSING, Mich. (July 21, 2023) — Earlier this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a package of bills amending the State Brownfield Redevelopment Fund. The lead bill in the package was Senate Bill 129, which was introduced by Senate Majority Floor Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) in March. The legislation expands access to affordable housing by incentivizing the redevelopment of brownfield properties for housing units. 


Many Michigan renters are cost-burdened and face challenges finding affordable housing, with over half spending more than 30% of their household income on housing expenses. Due to the high cost of rent, families often have to forgo food, healthcare or other necessities to avoid eviction.  


“Affordable housing is a national crisis, and Michigan is no exception,” said Sen. Singh. “It’s critical we take action to address the needs of residents in communities across the state to ensure they have access to stable and affordable housing. These bills will give our local communities more tools, and incentive to invest in affordable housing projects, signaling the commitment to addressing this crisis head-on.” 


The State Brownfield Redevelopment Fund provides support through the use of tax increment financing (TIF) to those who revitalize property complicated by the presence of contamination or blight. Prior to this legislation, housing development projects were ineligible to receive this incentive, making those endeavors less financially feasible.  


This legislation is a creative, yet practical approach to addressing the issue of housing affordability, enabling housing projects to receive financial support for redeveloping vacant, obsolete land. Furthermore, the redevelopment of brownfield properties provides environmental benefits by slowing urban sprawl and preventing additional environmental degradation. 


Once implemented, Michigan will be the second state in the nation using this innovative approach to boost community revitalization and expand affordable housing.