Advocacy Update

Forrest Wall March 2021Written by HBA and AAM CEO, Forrest M. Wall, CAE

Housing Michigan Coalition Bills Signed By Governor

On December 13, a package of bills supported by the Housing Michigan Coalition was signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The bipartisan bills provide a set of tools for local governments to facilitate development of attainable housing supply. A brief description of the bills is as follows:

  • SB 362 – Creates a new act, the Attainable Housing Facilities Act, to allow a city, township or village to establish one or more attainable housing districts. A district would allow an owner of a rental property of no more than 4 units that is built new or rehabilitated to receive a tax abatement if certain requirements are met.
  • SB 364 – Amends the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act to allow any city, village or township to designate a neighborhood enterprise zone (NEZ). Currently only county seats and certain distressed communities can do so. NEZ designation provides for property tax abatements to encourage the development and rehabilitation of housing.
  • SB 422 – Creates the Residential Housing Facilities Act to allow a city, township or village to establish one or more residential housing districts. Rental property owners in the district would receive a tax abatement for renting to households with combined annual income of 120% or less of the county median income, and rent cannot exceed 30% of the household’s income.
  • SB 432 – Amends the State Housing Development Authority Act to exempt from ad valorem property taxes a workforce housing project that has been approved for exemption by a city, village or township. The owner would pay an annual charge for public services in lieu of taxes.

All of the bills except SB 364 were given immediate effect. SB 364 goes into effect in June 2023.

ESA Legislation Fails to Move
Disappointingly, legislation which would have strengthened state law to help prevent the false representation of possession of an emotional support animal (ESA) failed to move in the final days of the 2021-22 session. The bill previously passed the Michigan House of Representatives and enjoyed bipartisan support. However, continued concerns expressed by Whitmer Administration officials over the potential impact on federal funding if the bill passed has delayed its movement.

Efforts to pass this important legislation will renew in the 2023-24 session, but the process will start over as bills do not carry over from session to session.

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