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File #: 22-0095    Version: Name: 1/18/22 Resolution to Begin Discussions with U-M for Workforce Housing
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 1/18/2022 In control: City Council
On agenda: 5/16/2022 Final action: 5/16/2022
Enactment date: 5/16/2022 Enactment #: R-22-152
Title: Resolution to Begin Discussions with University of Michigan (U-M) of Net-Zero Affordable, Sustainable Workforce Housing
Sponsors: Kathy Griswold, Elizabeth Nelson, Jeff Hayner, Ali Ramlawi
Attachments: 1. Supporting Documentation for Resolution to Begin Discussions with University of Michigan.pdf


Resolution to Begin Discussions with University of Michigan (U-M) of Net-Zero Affordable, Sustainable Workforce Housing


Whereas, The City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan have a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship and share many interests, including contributing to a vibrant community with a high quality of life for its residents, including UM students and staff, and meeting sustainability goals, transportation, social and other goals;


Whereas, U-M is to be commended for recently approving the construction of 1,200 (700 net new) net-zero, LEED Gold-certified undergraduate housing beds on North Campus which will help address some of the aforementioned housing issues; 


Whereas, While the U-M’s mission may not explicitly include providing housing for employees, many options are possible, such as providing 99-year land leases to private developers for apartments, condos and cooperative housing thereby generating tax revenue on the buildings to public entities such as the City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Public Schools and Washtenaw Community College enabling them to provide better public services;


Whereas, U-M Ann Arbor campus growth and technology spin-off businesses have been an enormous economic engine for the city and the surrounding area;


Whereas, the growing student enrollment and employment levels at U-M’s Ann Arbor campus and at other local employers has put significant pressure on the local housing market as evidenced by housing costs which have significantly outpaced the Consumer Price Index and growth in area personal income over the last decade;


Whereas, Ann Arbor has a particularly significant shortage of affordable and Workforce Housing;


Whereas, U-M Ann Arbor campus employees who cannot afford Ann Arbor area housing costs commute from all around Washtenaw and surrounding counties, where some lower-paid staff workers travel longer distances thereby increasing their transportation financial and time-in-transit burden, an inequitable state of affairs;


Whereas, Mixed-use housing developments designed to create walkable and bikeable neighborhoods served by public transportation which are integrated into the surrounding community are those which provide the greatest opportunity for reducing vehicle miles traveled and are generally regarded as the most desirable places to live;


Whereas, Both U-M and the City will soon begin a comprehensive master planning processes and will soon begin their public engagement;


Whereas, The construction of net-zero affordable Workforce Housing units on U-M property would provide a wide variety of demonstration projects and learning laboratories for students and research opportunities for faculty in energy, urban planning, architecture, engineering, human ecology, sustainability and other disciplines; and


Whereas, The City of Ann Arbor has also been working to improve housing availability across all sectors - affordable, workforce and market rate, for example by allowing the development of Accessory Dwelling Units on approximately 22,000 properties, directing that the Ann Arbor Housing Commission pursue the development of affordable and other housing on at least nine City-owned properties, and creating Transit Corridor District zoning;


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator provide an opportunity for City Councilmembers and U-M Regents to dialog and mutually explore win-win opportunities to provide net zero energy Workforce Housing on U-M properties and elsewhere in the city, ideally in mix-use developments, thus furthering both of our sustainability and equity initiatives; stakeholder groups to participate in this dialog;


RESOLVED, That City Administrator will discuss Workforce Housing at the quarterly U-M policy meetings and report progress to City Council, as appropriate;


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator will solicit the support of the Michigan Municipal League, the City’s lobbyist, the Chamber of Commerce, and any other local groups and leaders who share the goal of additional units of net-zero energy affordable Workforce Housing on U-M Ann Arbor campus property;


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator will continue to advocate for additional student residential units as enrollment increases; and


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator will advocate that U-M establish a formula for new residential units in proportion to student and employee growth.


Sponsored by: Councilmembers Griswold, Nelson, Hayner, and Ramlawi