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Economy

Federal housing money headed for Michigan communities

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development announced its most recent round of funding to local housing commissions on Tuesday. More than 100 commissions in Michigan are included in the allocations.

The amounts awarded range from about $3,000 for Ann Arbor’s housing commission to just shy of $10.5 million for Detroit.

The allocations are based primarily on how many units of public housing each commission oversees.

Big Rapids received nearly $700,000 – one of the largest allocations outside of metro Detroit.

About 5% of the city’s population lives in government-supported housing, said local housing commission executive director Mark Sochocki. Housing costs are driven up by the presence of Ferris State University, which draws in large crowds of renters, he said.

“That limits the availability of housing options,” said Sochocki.

This round of funding is designated for capital expenses. Sochocki said in Big Rapids, that will focus on roofing, plumbing and projects like resurfacing parking lots and driveways.

In an interview with WCMU News, HUD deputy regional administrator Jim Cunningham said the dozens of communities getting federal funding in Michigan show that affordable housing is not just a big-city issue.

“Everyone deserves, whether they live in a town of 5,000 or they live in Detroit, they deserve to live in decent, safe and sanitary housing,” Cunningham said. “This funding goes to make sure that properties are adequately maintained.”

In total, HUDgranted $2.7 billion for capital expenses in almost 2,900 local public housing authorities in the U.S., That follows $2.5 billion for local homeless programsannounced last month.