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Politics & Government

Whitmer Visits Kalamazoo To Promote Affordable Housing Plan

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Sehvilla Mann
/
WMUK
Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Kalamazoo on Wednesday.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood today promoting a proposal to increase low-income housing throughout the state. The governor says Michigan could add about 2,000 affordable rental units if it uses $100 million in federal COVID relief money, together with close to $400 million in private investment to pay for them.

Speaking at a press event at Kalamazoo’s Creamery building, a recently renovated property with an unusually comprehensive approach to helping low-income families, Whitmer says she’s hopeful the Republican-led legislature will embrace the plan.

“This is something that transcends party line. This is about our people, this is about our future and this is about our economy, so we’ve got to get this done,” Whitmer told reporters, lawmakers, local officials and nonprofit leaders.

Whitmer praised the Creamery, which has added several dozen affordable apartments to Kalamazoo’s housing stock, and which the YWCA says will be home to a round-the-clock childcare center the it plans to open in September.

“We know that affordable housing and childcare are two of the most important barriers keeping people from getting into the workforce, keeping people from getting ahead, and this is really a remarkable place that combines both of those fundamentals that we as a state are determined to move forward on and expand for more Michiganders,” she said.

Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson also spoke at the event. He said he welcomes Whitmer’s proposal, though he acknowledged the plan would need buy-in from Republicans in the legislature.

“We’re going to need advocacy around that,” Anderson said. “But this proposal can really turn a situation of scarcity into abundance and real things can happen.”

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