Ann Arbor commits to boosting affordably priced rentals
Ann Arbor — Ann Arbor has committed to creating nearly 2,800 new affordably priced rental units in the city by 2035.
City Council this week voted 10-1 to adopt affordable housing goals, The Ann Arbor News reported. That’s part of a larger goal of adding 3,137 affordable non-student rental units between Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township over the next 20 years.
Officials also hope to increase demand for market-rate housing in the Ypsilanti area by 4,187 units.
The goals are in a consultant’s report identifying a number of possible tools to expand the supply of affordable housing, including changes in zoning, policy and other measures. Additional funding from Ann Arbor also would be part of the likely plans.
Mayor Christopher Taylor said difficult community conversations will take place about next steps for the plans in Ann Arbor, the home of the University of Michigan. Regardless, Taylor said affordable housing is a worthy goal that reflects the city’s values.
“It’s something that we as a community truly care about, and I think this will give us an opportunity moving forward to see where we care about it,” he said.
The council supported the creation of a regional workgroup to advance the goals identified in consultant’s report.
Councilman Jack Eaton cast the dissenting vote. He said he supports the city’s efforts to fund affordable housing, but that the report, which he called “ill conceived,” goes too far.
“It has at its core this idea that we can change market forces through government intervention, and I have found that when the government meddles in markets, you end up with considerable unforeseen consequences,” Eaton said.