LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer met with other state leaders on Tuesday to sign a bill designed to lower costs for families in Michigan.

“This supplemental bill will build thousands more affordable housing units across the state, revitalize our communities, empower entrepreneurs, and support workers,” Gov. Whitmer said.

The recently passed legislation that Whitmer signed will invest in affordable housing, community revitalization, and support small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The bill will invest around $150 million in the Housing and Community Development Fund, aiming to give new life to downtown locations across the Mitten and the U.P.

But what will happen with all of that money?

According to Gov. Whitmer’s office,

  • Around 2,000 housing units will able to be refurbished or rebuilt.
  • Approximately 6,000 Michiganders can be housed.
  • A whopping 1,600 construction jobs will be created.

Additionally, funding will go towards the Missing Middle Housing Program. The program aims to build and rehabilitate properties for middle-class families.

“This funding will help us revitalize communities where people want to live and work, remove barriers for people looking for a job, and lower start-up costs for entrepreneurs as they build and grow high-tech businesses here in Michigan,” said Lt. Gov Garlin Gilchrist II.

An additional $100 million will go towards Revitalization and Placemaking Grants, which will turn office, commercial and community spaces into places for people to enjoy.

Whitmer shows the newly signed supplemental bill. (Photo/Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Office)

The governor’s office has some idea of what those underused spaces could be turned into, including affordable housing, outdoor dining areas, or other place-based spaces.

“If these issues sound familiar, they should: We’ve been calling for more focused investment in efforts that get roofs over heads, meals on tables, and workers in jobs for years,” said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks.

The supplemental will also allocate $75 million to SmartZones.

This supplemental addresses removing barriers for workers like access to child care, transportation, and other basic career services and providing $25 million for apprenticeships.

“Michigan cannot attract and retain a highly skilled and talented workforce without affordable living options for workers to raise their families,” said House Speaker Joe Tate.

The bill will also fund law enforcement training and $75 million in grants for blight removal.  

The Escanaba paper mill will get $200 million to expand production and retain hundreds of jobs in the Upper Peninsula.

The transformation of the mill is planned to be the cornerstone of Billerud’s expansion into North America.

Whitmer was joined by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, and Speaker of the House Joe Tate, who all spoke at the event as well.