The City of Muskegon, like many communities across the state, is
facing an affordable housing crisis.
As of the 2020 Census, three of the five fastest-growing counties are
in West Michigan — Ottawa, Kent and Allegan. Under Mike Franzak’s
leadership on the city’s development services team, Muskegon is
looking to become a leader in the state on addressing the problem.
Since 2019, Franzak’s team is utilizing a piece of state legislation
addressing the development of brownfield areas. Muskegon has infilled
more than 130 housing units, either for sale or for rent on city-owned
vacant lots. Muskegon is also marketing new construction homes for
less than $170,000.
“Housing is a big need in our city right now,” Franzak said. “We’re
short about 3,000 housing units over the next five years, and we’ve
been going full speed for the past couple of years, constructing homes.
“It’s really needed in the city, and we think we’re doing a good job
progressing towards that goal in mind.”
Franzak said Muskegon is the first city in the state to try this
venture and get people and families into housing.
“We think we’re being pretty innovative with this brownfield
redevelopment plan,” Franzak said. “Through this redevelopment plan,
we’re able to get those funds paid back over the next 30 years through
the increments in taxes.”