Apartment Inspection Reform Bill Introduced
AAM’s efforts to reform the current apartment inspection law were renewed with the recent introduction of Senate Bill 107. As you may recall, this legislation failed to move quickly enough for passage before the completion of the 2015-2016 legislative session. Because this is a new legislative session, bills not acted upon by the previous legislature must be introduced all over again. Senate Bill 107 is being sponsored by Senator Rick Jones (R–Grand Ledge), and it amends the Housing Law of Michigan to provide that the lessee’s permission is needed prior to local government entry to inspect. Current state law allows a local government to compel an apartment owner, regardless of the resident’s wishes, to provide unit access if the lease allows the owner right of entry at any time. AAM has stated its concern that this is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Inclusionary Zoning Bill Introduced
A bill introduced in the Michigan Senate proposes to allow for local inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning is a tool used in other parts of the country to require that a percentage of units in new residential developments be set aside for low or moderate-income residents. Senate Bill 110 would amend the state law AAM advocated for back in the 1980s that preempts local rent control. The proposed amendment allows for local governments to enact “a plan designed to increase through incentives the supply of moderate or low-cost private residential property available for lease.” The bill then details some of the options for incentives, such as density bonuses, expedited permitting, reduced or eliminated fees, modification of site-specific requirements, and fee-in-lieu incentives. The Association’s position is that local efforts to incentivize more affordable housing should use voluntarily agreements between the local government and developer. The bill as introduced does not provide for a voluntary process, instead allowing for a local government to mandate terms to developers.