The GAD Top Three | July 10th, 2023

The GAD Top Three | July 10th, 2023 slideshow item

Michigan passed the state budget totaling $81.7 billion on Thursday, June 28th the final day of the Michigan state legislative session prior to the summer state legislative break. I have rifled through the Michigan State budget summary and highlighted below the three most notable items in the budget for our local real estate industry in the Michigan Fiscal Year budget for October 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024; plus a list of other notable real estate-related items that made it into the Michigan State Budget for 2023-2024.

Top 3 Real Estate related items in the 2023-2024 Michigan State Budget:

1. Housing Readiness Incentive Grant Program House Receives $5 Million Allocation 

This one-time funding was an appropriation, led by Michigan REALTORS, first highlighted in the June 12th GAD Top 3 as a part of House Bill 4246. This one-time Housing Readiness Incentive Grant Program was fully funded at the $5 million requested and will make grants available to cities, villages, and townships for costs associated with adopting land use policies, master plan updates, zoning text amendments, and similar actions that help increase housing supply and affordability. 

2. Traverse City Affordable Housing Programming Receives $300,000 in Funding

The Housing Readiness Program, not to be confused with Michigan REALTORS supporter Housing Readiness Incentive Grant Program, received funding totaling $300,000. The Housing Readiness Program - a program led by Housing North a cross-sector group of regional housing partners in Northwest Michigan working to overcome the communications, policy, and financial barriers that stand in the way of housing solutions - was fully funded to support programs to provide affordable housing in Traverse City. It is unclear from the Michigan budget summary what specific programming this will fund but it appears these funds will support Housing North’s continued effort to improve the conditions that allow for greater housing development in Northwest Michigan. Aspire North REALTORS was an early supporter of Housing North’s Housing Readiness Program with a $10,000 grant in 2020 received from the National Association of REALTORS supporting their Homes for Our Future public awareness campaign increasing the housing readiness of Northwest Michigan counties, cities, and villages including Leelanau County, the City of Traverse City, the Village of Bellaire, and the Village of Kalkaska. 

3. Revitalization and Placemaking Program Established Supporting Downtown Infrastructure, including Leelanau County Broadband 

$50 million of restricted funding was allocated in the Michigan budget to establish the Revitalization and Placemaking grant program to rehabilitate vacant, underused, and blighted structures and to help develop traditional downtown infrastructure. Budgeting placeholders were made for 3 specific projects for this new grant program including the Broadband project in Leelanau County. This is most certainly to support the efforts of LIFT (Leelanau Internet Futures Team) originally established in 2016 and which completed a Rural Broadband Inventory Survey in September 2021 to help them to define the needs and requirements for high-speed internet across all of Leelanau County, a top barrier to growth and progress across Leelanau County. Aspire North REALTOR members have established broadband internet access as a priority issue so we will continue to track the funds the state of Michigan will make available to Leelanau County in this next fiscal year. 

Additional Housing-Specific Funds Approved in the Michigan Budget

  • Habitat for Humanity Home Ownership Program House was allocated $10 million in one-time federal State Fiscal Recovery Fund funding for a statewide housing homeownership program.
  • Veteran Homelessness Grants were allocated $2 million to establish a pilot grant program to provide grants of $150,000 to non-profit organizations to provide or assist in providing, housing for homeless veterans and their families in an effort to eliminate veteran homelessness. 
  • Attainable and Workforce Housing Program Administration was allocated $665,000 for 4 full-time positions for oversight and administration of tax credit programs to be established under the newly enacted Attainable Housing Facilities Act, Residential Housing Facilities Act, and expansion of the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act (PAs 236, 237, and 238 of 2022).
  • Michigan Housing and Community Development Program allocated $50 million in restricted funding to specific housing projects to expand access to affordable housing and revitalize downtown areas. 
  • Healthy Homes Expansion funding was increased by $22.5 million and authorized 45  full-time positions to support lead investigations and abatements, community-based testing, expanded lab capacity, and water distribution needs.

Funds Approved that Support Redevelopment of Land, Potentially for Housing

  • Brownfield Redevelopment Fund received an increase of $1.8 million in restricted funding to recognize increased state brownfield redevelopment fund revenue collections.

Increased Agency Capacity Funded 

  • LARA and EGLE Legal Services received an increase of $403,400 in funding for the Departments of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and authorization for 2 full-time positions to provide additional legal services to expedite the processing of increasing caseloads for these departments.

Connor Miller photo
Connor Miller
Government Affairs Director

As the Government Affairs Director, I work to advocate for the real estate industry through programming that promotes the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates; engage, inform, and activate membership and local government officials on key local and state real estate policies; provide staff support to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee that invests members' voluntary contributions to protect and promote the real estate industry; and support the Aspire North memberships’ involvement in community projects to further grow and strengthen our region.