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Muskegon residents asked to take part in housing survey

Downtown Muskegon photo

Meanwhile, shortage of affordable homes continues to be a challenge.

To help better understand the public’s perception of housing in the area, the City of Muskegon is asking for residents to take part in a countywide survey.

Officials say the city commission wants to know the housing conditions in the city and the future housing needs of its residents and workers, as the city grapples with a shortage of affordable housing.

Recently, the city hired the Bowen National Research firm to conduct a five-year housing needs assessment. Residents, commuters, and employers throughout Muskegon County will be asked about their current living situation, their current perception of Muskegon based housing, and future community housing needs.

The survey comes as housing continues to be a challenge for the Muskegon area. Back in January, the city announced it would invest $6 million into a new project to build affordable homes on vacant lots in the McLaughlin neighborhood that would then be sold at an affordable rate.

However, officials say the city is having a tough time finding qualified buyers.

“The McLaughlin homes that we have been building, I think if it had been two and a half quarters ago, we would have them all under contract, but because of the current interest rate environment, our buyers and our market that we are trying to cater to, are the first that are being negatively impacted.”

Jake Eckholm is the City Development Services Director. He is speaking to the Muskegon City Commission.

“So, it is getting harder and harder to find folks that are working class families that are trying to buy these homes that can get prequalified,” Eckholm said. “We ran some numbers…the doubling interest rate would result in about $380 more a month on a 30-year-mortgage, and that is going to price some people out.”

The city of Muskegon is partnering with the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on the housing study, which city officials are asking residents to complete by December 31st of this year.

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