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File #: 19-0451    Version: Name: 3/18/19 Resolution to Pursue Affordable Housing at 721 N. Main
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 3/18/2019 In control: City Council
On agenda: 3/18/2019 Final action: 3/18/2019
Enactment date: 3/18/2019 Enactment #: R-19-110
Title: Resolution to Pursue Affordable Housing at 721 N. Main
Sponsors: Zachary Ackerman, Christopher Taylor, Chip Smith
Related files: 19-2127, 19-2125, 19-2126, 19-2128


Resolution to Pursue Affordable Housing at 721 N. Main


Reviewed by:  Kevin McDonald, Senior Assistant City Attorney

                       Jennifer Hall, Executive Director, Ann Arbor Housing Commission

                       Teresa Gillotti, Director, Office of Community & Economic Development

                        Brett Lenart, Planning Manager


Whereas, Housing costs are typically a household’s largest single expense, critically affecting quality of life;


Whereas, In 2015, the City of Ann Arbor partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Washtenaw County to produce the Housing Affordability and Economic Equity Report (“Report”);


Whereas, A primary goal of the Report was to maximize housing opportunities for lower and middle class households;


Whereas, The Report highlighted that housing in Ann Arbor has become unaffordable for 45% of households making $35,000-$49,999 a year, 87% of households making $20,000-$34,999, and 94% of households making under $20,000;


Whereas, Ann Arbor is the least affordable city in Michigan with median rents 22% higher than the rest of the state;


Whereas, Residents of Ann Arbor continue to feel the pressure from a lack of housing options with average rents increasing nearly 15% since 2015;


Whereas, Neighborhoods such as Arbor Oaks and Water Hill are seeing significant demographic shifts due to a lack of housing options city-wide;


Whereas, In response to the Report, City Council adopted a goal to construct 2,800 new units of affordable housing by 2035, or 140 new units per year;


Whereas, Since 2015, only 50 dedicated units of affordable housing units have been built within the city limits;


Whereas, Regionally, Over 1500 units have converted from dedicated ‘Affordable’ to market-rate, as terms of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and other funding requirements have expired and an additional 800+ units will be expiring;


Whereas, Results from the 2018 City Budget Prioritization Survey clearly indicate Ann Arbor residents believe affordable housing should be a policy and budgeting priority;


Whereas, Tackling affordable housing is a complex issue and an uphill battle, requiring many revenue streams and strategies;


Whereas, Publicly owned land presents the greatest opportunity to create new units of low-income and mixed-income housing - legally and financially; and


Whereas, The City-owned property at 721 N. Main (“Property”) has been the focus of community attention for decades.


RESOLVED, That the Ann Arbor City Council directs the City Administrator to ensure any future development of the Property includes affordable housing;


RESOLVED, That by August 1, 2019 the City Administrator will recommend to City Council a policy or process to follow which addresses the following requirements:


-                     The City will maintain ownership of the Property (e.g., land lease)

-                     Any potential developer will offer a mix of unit types and rent levels

-                     Any Developer will maximize the number of affordable housing units for those who make up to 60% of the Area Median Income while balancing other priorities such as funding the Treeline Urban Trail

-                     Any Developer will accept Housing Choice Vouchers; and


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator will engage stakeholders, such as the Treeline Conservancy, in the development of such a policy or process.


Sponsored by:  Councilmembers Ackerman, Smith and Mayor Taylor


As Amended and Approved by Ann Arbor City Council on March 18, 2019.