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Charlevoix takes next step to create affordable housing

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Courtesy Charlevoix DDA
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Like many resort towns in northern Michigan, Charlevoix has struggled to build a strong year-round community ever since landlords saw the money to be made in summer rentals.

Area officials say 40% of the city’s housing stock is vacant for most of the year while the area’s service workers can’t find a place to live.

 

Last year Charlevoix city officials capped the number of vacation rentals and made rules that some developments have to be owner-occupied 10 months a year.

 

That may have scared away some developers, so the DDA will now give out $50,000 grants for renovating or adding to existing buildings.

 

The Executive Director of the Charlevoix Main Street DDA Lindsey Dotson says these projects are crucial to local growth.

 

“Being a more sustainable economy year-round, we have to have people living in our town year-round,” she says. “There’s no other way to put it.”

 

Dotson says the initial apartments may be small scale at first, but they hope to free up to 215 rentals units.