County housing director given green light to make a presentation to meet housing shortage
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners gave the director of the county housing department permission to apply for an application for a state grant, which would pay to build modular housing in the area.
The board, at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 25, approved a resolution to have Hannelore Dysinger, the director of Crawford County Housing Commission, to submit a presentation to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority for a housing grant application.
If approved by the state agency to submit an application, the Crawford County Housing Commission could receive up to $196,000 to build a modular home in the county.
Dysinger, Erich Podjaske, the zoning and economic development administrator for the City of Grayling, Grayling developer Tom Steffen, and Fred Fabian, a Lansing investor, formed a committee to apply for the funds.
Gov. Rick Snyder has fast-tracked a $1.5 million pot of funding to meet the shortage of housing in areas in the state where economic growth is occurring.
“It’s under the radar,” Steffen said. “Not many people know about it.”
Steffen said the cost of the home would be 20 to 30 percent less than a stick built home. The home would be built to conform with Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) guidelines.
The home would serve as a model for other developers to bring three additional modular homes to the community.
“That’s the way you populate a subdivision,” Steffen said.
The home would have to be built within 60 to 80 days, with a target of having it ready for occupancy in 2019.
“Once they say go, they have to be built in that period of time,” Steffen said.
The family moving into the home would have to meet area median income guidelines.
Dysinger said that she would assist the family with applying for a $15,000 United States Department of Agriculture Development loan, which would be forgiveable after five years, as a down payment on the home.
The Crawford County Housing Commission would receive 15 percent in administrative services fees from the grant.
“That will pay for my services and to the pull the whole thing together,” Dysinger said.
The three other homes built would not be subject to income guidelines. Dysinger said the housing commission would approach Arauco North America and other manufacturers in need of workforce housing for those homes.
Ideally, the homes would be built in an area where municipal water and sewer service is available.
The committee is eyeing the former Hospitality House site in the City of Grayling, but utilizing that property may cause a delay due to demolition costs and remediation of any contamination on the property.
The Viking Village, a subdivision located in Grayling Charter Township, is also being considered as a site for the home.
County Commissioner Laurie Jamison suggested the housing commission look at a development located near the Crawford County Sports Complex, where roads and utilities are already in place.
The housing commission may come back to the county board to request funds to buy a parcel of land for the first home. As the home is being constructed, the property would be appraised, and a profit may be earned on the investment.
“That would be ideal, if we sold it before it was already finished,” Dysinger said.
In addition to gaining new workforce housing, Dysinger said that county would benefit from increased property tax values. The family would also be spending its money in the community.
Dysinger said all local builders and developers would be eligible to work on the projects, if the county is approved for the grant or another round of funding is received.
“As a county department and using public money, we need to give people the same opportunities,” she said. “There’s no question about that.”