Ferndale issues RFP for action plans on its new inclusive housing policy

In December 2017, the city of Ferndale adopted its inclusive housing policy. Now the city is actively searching out interested parties in helping to further define and put that policy into action.

A May 11, 2018, deadline has been set for an RFP that calls for the development of a measurable action plan for the policy. Jordan Twardy, community and economic development director for the city, says that firms are encouraged to team up to present the best proposal possible.

With its inclusive housing policy, Ferndale is now requiring that new residential projects of 25 units or more must set aside 25 percent of their units for affordable housing. Ten percent of the units must cost equal or less than 80 percent of the area median income, ten percent must cost equal or less than 60 percent, and five percent must cost equal or less than 50 percent.

"There’s a lot of development happening in town. It’s great to be a quote, unquote, "Hot area," but we want to make sure we retain what is great about us in the first place: We’re accessible," Twardy says. "We want to make sure that our core values remain intact."

For developments unable to reach the 25 percent requirement, the inclusive housing policy allows them to pay a penalty. Similar to a new business that can’t meet a parking spot requirement, developments can offer the city a payment in lieu of creating the affordable units.

Twardy says the RFP is about being pro-active and meeting the challenges of rising rents before it becomes too late.

"It’s easy to say we want these things but this is about having accountability," he says. "This is a point to rally around and say this is where we want to go."

Click here to view the city’s RFP.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.