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Report: Michigan’s housing deficit has increased 311% since 2012

Getty House: Yours rent-free with occupancy of the L.A. mayoral office.
Getty House: Yours rent-free with occupancy of the L.A. mayoral office.

A new report had some concerning numbers about housing in Michigan. It said the state is short more than 87-thousand homes and underproduction of homes had increased by more than 300-percent in the past decade. This ranks the state 16th in the United States in terms of the severity of its housing deficit.

Mike Kingsella is CEO of Up for Growth which conducted the study. He said the number of Michigan households has grown, but the number of homes produced hasn't.

“And because this system is so complex, and because there are so many barriers and restrictions, that that really curtail the breath, I would argue that housing communities need to truly meet demand," said Kingsella. "We see this disconnect between what's getting built versus what are the needs of the community.”

Kingsella said the root causes of housing shortages vary from city to city... but include: restrictive zoning, and land use policies that make it harder to build more homes.

“So it's a really strange time where we see this disconnect between the housing that communities truly need and what is economical for the building industry to deliver," said Kingsella.

Today, 47 states and the District of Columbia have seen underproduction rise over the past seven years. The average U.S. state had a housing deficit of 79,000 homes.

Housing underproduction in the U.S. reached 3.8 million homes in 2019, up from 1.6 million in 2012

“Without adequate housing the region is likely to face slower economic growth, more difficulty attracting high quality jobs, and greater housing instability for those earning too little to compete for scarce housing,” said Josh Lunger of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. “We are supporting collaborative efforts that better leverage the private market while seeking out partnerships with local cities and townships to craft community-specific solutions to create new housing supply at all price points.”

The report also included a plan that quantifies the potential economic, fiscal, social and environmental benefits of building millions of new homes.

Up for Growth data found that building 3.8 million additional homes would create increased housing affordability, add 209 billion to the U.S. GDP, generate 7 billion in additional local revenue, and reduce C02 emissions to the equivalent of 7.7 billion fewer miles traveled annually at full buildout.

Alexis Seeley is a journalism major from Macomb, MI. Alexis is going into her fourth year at Central Michigan University.