Jackson Mayor pushes for 3.5 million dollar proposal for affordable housing


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Fighting for more affordable housing in the city. Jackson mayor Derek Dobies calls a priority as he looks for ways to spend some of the city’s 32 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding.

“We realized during the pandemic is that the need for safe affordable and dignified housing has just been exacerbated,” said Mayor Dobies.

It’s something that the Executive director of the Habitat for Humanity in Jackson Wendy Clow says has caused her phone to ring off the hook with more and more people in need looking for help.

“There’s a lot of houses in Jackson. But there’s not a lot of houses in the modest price range that are decent, safe, and affordable for people that live in a moderate to low income level,” said Clow.

Now, with more people in Jackson now living closer to the poverty line and many houses in the city on the older end, Clow says funding to help people struggling with things like home repairs has run out.

“There’s an endless supply of people that need help with that,” said Clow.

To help families in need Mayor Dobies is proposing is to create an affordable housing trust fund. It’s part of a plan to get the ball rolling on the issue by using 3.5 million dollars or 10 percent of the rescue funding to go to things like home rehabilitation, as well as both transitional and long-term affordable options. He says it’s not only helping fight poverty but also helping Jackson grow.

“That capacity allows us to attract different amenities from grocery stores to new businesses, new restaurants, and everything else.”

The proposal is expected to be voted on by the city council in next week’s meeting.

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