Lansing is on the precipice of a turning point for our community. Recognized as a statewide leader in affordable housing, the Lansing Housing Commission (LHC) continues to fulfill its mission to provide quality, fair housing options in a compassionate, healthy, and safe manner.
Most recently, LHC approved the sale of 200+ dispersed housing units to create a better, safer model for our community. Section 18 is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-encouraged program to move current public housing (Section 9) — such as the scattered homes — to Section 8, which provides greater state and federal funding opportunities to communities such as Lansing. to improve.
This means that LHC can reinvest an estimated $12-15 million from the sale of dispersed homes to curb significant negative housing trends and meet future community needs. This wise investment means more families and individuals will enjoy one of the most basic necessities of life: a safe, affordable place to call home.
What will happen to the residents of the scattered homes? Existing residents can continue to live in their current unit with peace of mind and housing security for the foreseeable future. Residents also get access to other HUD vouchers and grant programs. In addition, LHC has offered residents living in these properties the opportunity to buy their own homes. In fact, more than 30 residents work directly with LHC to realize the homeownership dream.
ALTERNATIVE VIEW:How can we be confident that the sale of public housing will help the Lansing community?
RELATED: LSJ opinion section explained: Our guidelines and FAQ
LHC understands that change can be difficult, especially with the spread of misinformation and inaccuracies. We also appreciate that, when equipped with the facts, people embrace change because they know that this transformation benefits our residents and communities.
Here are the facts:
- LHC has thoroughly communicated the sale of its 200+ dispersed homes to its residents via phone, email and public meetings – as well as a FAQ on lansHC.org. While HUD only requires 90 days’ notice, LHC keeps our residents busy for over 12 months.
- Residents will continue to receive the same housing allowance for the next 20 years, so that they can live in their current home under the same conditions as now.
- The new owners of the dispersed housing units are well funded and experienced, with over 400 housing units here in Michigan.
- The sale is estimated to bring in $12-15 million for affordable housing in our community. LHC’s strategic plan uses these funds to effectively address rental inflation, the lack of affordable rental housing and a shortage of affordable single-family housing.
- LHC will make investments to meet future housing needs, expand access to Section 8 rentals, create more 4- and 5-bedroom family units, provide temporary housing to the homeless, and offer single-family ownership to individuals earning less than 80% of the median income of the area.
- LHC will work with the City of Lansing and community partners to build specific homes and generate home ownership opportunities.
As a community, we should celebrate this initiative as a milestone in improving and expanding affordable housing and services for current and future residents. These insightful actions we are taking today will open the doors of opportunity for many.
Doug Fleming is executive director of the Lansing Housing Commission.