States Make Progress in Physical Inspection Pilot ProgramApril 16, 2012
The six state housing finance agencies (HFAs) that are participating in a year-long physical inspection pilot program are spending more time coordinating their efforts with federal agencies than preparing for site visits of their own. HFAs in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin signed agreements in November to work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) to implement the pilot program, which tests the feasibility of reducing physical inspections of mixed-finance properties. Since that time, the HFAs have worked closely with HUD and RD to finalize their inspection processes and schedules, and are ready to begin cutting overlapping inspections for certain properties as soon as this spring.
Habitat for Humanity brings together a family, a donor and volunteersApril 16, 2012
Muskegon County Habitat for Humanity brought together a collection of “winners” Wednesday morning as rehabilitation of its 97th home project began at 2055 Beidler. The obvious winners are Chris and Samantha Berg of Wolf Lake, who will eventually move into the city of Muskegon house by the end of June. But no one at the first volunteer work session felt better about the project than Amy MacNeil, daughter of the late Jack Vanderkooi, whose family donated her father’s home to Habitat for Humanity.
Lenders Help Shape Michigan’s Future Through PlacemakingApril 16, 2012
Neighborhoods, cities, regions and states across America are taking notice of how important “place” is in the economic development equation. Michigan is no exception.
Flint native returns to his hometown to help guide state's effortApril 16, 2012
"As an example, we know that MSHDA (the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority) and HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Authority) are all involved in projects in the Flint area," said Larkin. "By brining all the resources and projects together in one plan, many can move ahead more efficiently."
Why is "Placemaking" picture-perfect for Michigan's economyApril 16, 2012
To revitalize Michigan we must examine our state through a new lens, taking into account the types of places where New Economy workers, entrepreneurs and businesses want to locate, invest and expand. This approach is commonly described as a "sense of place" or just "placemaking." It’s a simple concept really, based on a single principle -- talented and young people settle in places that offer the amenities, social and professional networks, resources and opportunities to support thriving lifestyles. Michigan can attract and retain talent-based workers by focusing on how best to utilize our regional communities' unique placemaking assets such as squares, plazas, parks, streets, green spaces and waterfronts.