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City Commission to host public hearing on affordable housing

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Grand Rapids residents will have a chance to weigh in on the Affordable Housing Crisis, as a public hearing is set for Tuesday evening at City Hall.

In the first regular session meeting of the New Year, The Grand Rapids City Commission will listen to feedback from the public on four strategies aimed at addressing affordable housing.

Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom who last November submitted a series of proposals for the City Commission to consider that all address the affordable housing crisis. Titled “Housing Now,” the package of proposals were two years in the making, and came from recommendations made by the City Housing Advisory Committee.

“So we introduced a series of policies and ordinances, to try to make it easier to reduce barriers to incentivize people to build more homes of different types of all sorts so there can be housing choice in Grand Rapids,” Sundstrom said. “I am excited to see what the city commission will do moving forward.”

Committee chair and City Commissioner Jon O’Conner says that the affordable housing crisis is the result of Grand Rapids recent success coupled with the city’s affordability.

“The cost of living compared to other places as well as economic opportunity that is here because of growing sectors like technology and medical have put pressures on the market,” O’Conner said. And so the stagnating wages, which has not kept up with the cost of housing increases has created a scenario where people are being priced out of their home.” 

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