After years of discussion and action, affordable housing remains a pressing issue in our area. Washtenaw County officials have been working on a long-term plan, and part of that includes creation of more affordable units in Pittsfield Township and the City of Ann Arbor.
The plan calls for construction of 17 housing units in Pittsfield Township each year and another 140 in Ann Arbor for the next 20 years.
Teresa Gillotti is Housing and Community Infrastructure Manager for Washtenaw County's Office of Community and Economic Development. She says some incremental progress was made in 2016.
"We don't have the numbers yet for both of those communities. We wait until January or February to collect the data in case there's projects wrapping up. We do know that there have been some policy changes that have been pushing us in the right direction."
She says that includes a few different measures. Ann Arbor has decided to let residents build secondary dwellings on their property in certain circumstances.
The county is moving forward with a property development along Platt Road that will create more affordable housing units as well. Still, Gillotti says there's plenty of work left to do.
"It's really a lot to get to that 140-units-a-year number, and so it's going to need kind of a combination of willing partners, policy changes, and potentially infusion of funding to help get to a more steady flow of affordable units being built every single year."
Gillotti says the county and City of Ann Arbor will continue working towards hitting target goals in the New Year. Washtenaw County has already issued requests for new affordable housing proposals for 2017.