Ann Arbor, MI

Affordable Housing Analysis & Strategy

Ann Arbor, MI

Affordable Housing Analysis & Strategy

Throughout most of 2014 and into early 2015, czb worked with officials in Washtenaw County, Michigan to develop a countywide affordable housing strategy. The complex undertaking meant analyzing the county’s highly varied submarkets from booming Ann Arbor to struggling Ypsilanti, the impact of the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University on those markets, and the fall-out from the Great Recession. The result was an unprecedented level of cooperative work among more than a dozen jurisdictions setting shared policy and production goals for housing across the county.

Throughout most of 2014 and into early 2015, czb worked with officials in Washtenaw County, Michigan to develop a countywide affordable housing strategy. The complex undertaking meant analyzing the county’s many, highly varied submarkets. The result was an unprecedented level of cooperative work among more than a dozen jurisdictions setting shared policy and production goals for housing across the county.

  Team Members: Rob Krupicka, Charles Buki, Karen Beck Pooley
  Services: Housing Analysis, Visioning, Meeting Facilitation, Report Creation

“How can the county create a more regionally balanced housing market?”

Population

Median Household Income

%

of adults have a bachelor's degree or higher

%

of all households live in poverty

Truth revealed.

czb’s analysis showed that central-eastern Washtenaw County has two very distinct housing markets, each with different needs and opportunities: one fundamentally strong market anchored by the City of Ann Arbor and one, including the City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, that was in far greater distress.

Tailored advice.

After sorting through the data on Ann Arbor’s market, including its active student rental market, czb advised that Ann Arbor should focus on the preservation and production of affordable housing for non-student renters through a variety of strategies.

Data-driven strategies.

czb advised that Ypsilanti, which had become the de facto affordable housing solution for Ann Arbor, ought to grow its regional share of working and college-educated households through specific regulatory updates, investments in quality-of-life amenities and transportation options, and through restricting the supply of additional affordable housing units.

A new direction.

County commissioners are re-thinking the distribution of new housing units throughout the county, including the possible addition of affordable housing units on a 13.5-acre site of land in southeast Ann Arbor and the addition of higher-end apartment complexes in the City of Ypsilanti.

Watch to see how czb helped Ann Arbor, MI confront its biggest challenges and grow the capacity to shape its own future.

“It’s something that we as a community truly care about, and I think this will give us an opportunity moving forward to see where we care about it. The amount of affordable housing that has been identified as needed in this analysis over the next 20 years is disruptive. Things will have to be different in the city.”

A Focus on Equity

czb’s analysis for Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County provided a snapshot of housing market conditions and corresponding goals to improve affordability across a wide spectrum of households in the county’s urban core communities. In support of these goals, the report identifies tools intended to guide the allocation of resources and policy decisions toward a regionally balanced housing market in order to maximize opportunity for lower- and middle-class households. This supports the development of a more equitable community, with corresponding economic, environmental, and other quality of life benefits for all residents. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners voted 8-0 to approve czb’s final plan.

A Focus on Equity

czb’s analysis for Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County provided a snapshot of housing market conditions and corresponding goals to improve affordability across a wide spectrum of households in the county’s urban core communities.

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