The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area supports the principle of availability of safe, decent, desirable housing in sound neighborhoods for all Midland County residents. We support dispersed socio-economic diversity throughout the city and townships. We support the use of zoning as a tool for provision of affordable housing for all people in the City and in the townships.
We believe that local governmental bodies should assume responsibility for ensuring the availability of a reasonable quality of housing in Midland County. Governmental subsidies should be utilized to the extent that they are economically reasonable. The government should also facilitate the effective use of the services of local public and private agencies for rehabilitating substandard housing where reasonable and for relocating those inadequately housed or displaced. No clearance should occur unless relocation sites are available. We support the use of effectively enforced housing codes by local units of government throughout the county. These housing codes should require compliance periodically for rental property and at the time of sale for owner-occupied housing.
We support publicly and privately subsidized housing. We believe admission requirements should be based upon need. We encourage residency requirements which do not discriminate between city and township residents. We support multiple housing development with either governmental or private management that will meet local housing maintenance standards.
We support the availability of semi-protective housing facilities that will enable the elderly and handicapped to continue independent living. We support economically reasonable services for those who need assistance to continue to reside in owner-occupied homes.
We support City and County housing commissions which coordinate and cooperate with all other agencies involved in housing needs. We support a joint City-County commission when appropriate.
Provision of low-income housing should be one of the planning goals of local government.
1. City and County governments have the responsibility to adopt aggressive policies, determine needs, actively pursue opportunities for the development, construction and/or use management of low-income housing to achieve an appropriate mix of housing units which includes dwellings for low and moderate income groups. The ratio of low and moderate income housing units should reflect the needs of the community.
2. Local government should consider the availability and accessibility of convenience services (shopping, medical care, etc., and transportation) as a part of the planning process for public and privately subsidized low income housing projects.
3. Local government should investigate, design, and implement incentives for the development of low income housing by private developers (e.g., tax incentives, reduction or abatement of assessment charges, review and modification of zoning restrictions, etc.).
4. Local governmental units should accept responsibility for determining availability of housing units with access to services and transportation prior to implementation of programs which would eliminate existing (low income) housing units.