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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.

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.