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Muskegon puts emphasis on new homes built on vacant lots

WOOD-TV

Muskegon – Opportunity is being found in parts of Muskegon hit hard by disinvestment as affordable homes are planned for vacant lots in several neighborhoods.

Construction of the houses is expected to be complete by the end of this year, according to WOOD-TV.

The homes will be a test – of sorts – to see just how profitable the endeavor could be. Muskegon is home to several hundred vacant lots, the television station reported.

“We’ve been very proactive about finding lots that are going to be good opportunities for redevelopment,” said Jake Eckholm, Muskegon’s director of Economic Development. “For a while, the private sector housing developers weren’t necessarily looking at our city limits to build because there were more, quote unquote, more profitable areas. So, the public sector decided we have to do it ourselves to show them it can be done.”

The city is partnering with community groups for funding. Federal funds also are being used.

“For a long time, West Michigan has sort of been sleeping on Muskegon,” Eckholm added. “I’ve always loved the community. It’s been a very joyful thing to watch it transition into a more lucrative investment environment. I would tell folks to come here in the summertime when we have over one million tourists through our downtown where we have a dozen festivals.”