Jackson City Council votes to dedicate pandemic money toward affordable housing

Jackson City Council considers dedicating pandemic money to affordable housing
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:53 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 8:52 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Mayor Derek Dobies’ proposed plan to use money from the American Rescue Plan and put it toward affordable housing was passed Tuesday night by the Jackson City Council.

Related: Dobies proposes $15+ living wage ordinance for City employees

The proposal would create a board in charge of addressing housing instability and create an affordable housing fund for the city.

Jackson would also put $4.5 million from the American Rescue Plan into the affordable housing fund.

$1 million would be used for the redevelopment of city-owned homes.

A new Affordable Housing Development Board will oversee the initiatives and spending.

“We define housing affordability as not spending more than 30% of your income on your housing and that’s tough to do in Jackson,” said Laurie Ingram, executive director of the Jackson Housing Commission.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average income in Jackson is $35,464.

Two new affordable housing options -- the Albert Kahn Apartments and Francis Senior Lofts -- filled up quickly.

“I’m an alcoholic in recovery and I know I meet people every day that could benefit from a decision like this,” said one Jackson resident. “Anything that the city or the county can do to help people starting out with affordable housing, I’m for it.”

“A lot of communities found ways to spend the money that didn’t include the highest risk and most vulnerable people in the community. I was happy to be a part of a community that thought to use it this way,” said Ingram.

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