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New legislation would promote housing stability.

A West Michigan Senator is introducing legislation aimed at promoting housing stability.

Grand Rapids rents have increased 15.7% since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to, a provider of online apartment listings. The current median price for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,255.

Rising cost and limited availability for low- to moderate-income families are a concern of Michigan Senator Winnie Brinks.

She points to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University nearly half of all U.S. renters pay 30 to 50% of income on rent.

The Grand Rapids Democrat is introducing a bill removing barriers for some renters. In particular, renters with eviction records. The legislation would seal certain eviction records. Senate Bill 949 “It would also provide the courts with discretion on records that are at least five years old but require the sealing of them in certain cases, such as tenants residing in foreclosed properties and evictions filed during a declared state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Brinks is joined by 14 Democrats and three Republicans co-sponsoring the housing stability bill.