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Housing survey reveals challenges for Lansing tri-county region

Windows on the upper floor of a house as seen from outside
Kevin Lavery
The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is studying future housing needs in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.

A study commissioned by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission identifies a number of challenges to meeting future housing needs in the Greater Lansing area.

The commission hired St. Louis-based urban design consultant Development Strategies to assess the housing profile in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.

Among its findings, the study team notes a high percentage of residents struggling to make monthly housing payments, the deterioration of older houses and inadequate options for seniors to age in place.

The company’s Andy Pfister says the last few years have seen unprecedented increases in construction costs, home prices and rent.

“We will continue to have a tight supply that does not ease these challenges moving forward,” Pfister said. “So, the key element here is that the existing tools and approaches we’ve been taking aren’t good enough.”

He says projections show the region could gain as many as 67,000 new residents by 2040.

“Some of the challenges in housing availability, escalating prices and housing choice will continue to be pronounced if new tools are not put in place; new polices that support that development,” he said.

The team is expected to complete its study and make final recommendations to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission by the end of July.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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