State leaders turn out to celebrate new homes, innovative 'pocket neighborhood' in Eaton Rapids

What’s happening: In Michigan’s ongoing efforts to address its housing shortage, affecting urban, suburban, and rural areas alike, the spotlight turns to Eaton Rapids. State officials and community leaders gathered in the mid-Michigan community on Monday, May 6, to celebrate and tour 10 newly constructed single-family rental homes, a result of the state’s Missing Middle Housing Program.

What’s built: The 10 new rental homes are part of the Eaton Village “pocket neighborhood” south of downtown Eaton Rapids. Eaton Village builder T.A. Forsberg, Inc. took its design cues from early 20th century pocket neighborhoods: smaller, more affordable homes with a central green space to foster a stronger sense of community. There are three different floor plans with two- and three-bedroom options.

More to come: “Eaton Village will provide quality homes at an affordable rent for middle-class families in Eaton Rapids,” says Brent Forsberg, President of TA Forsberg Inc. “Even better, we’re going to take this model on the road, and replicate this neighborhood in communities all over the state.”

How they’re doing it: Construction of the 10 homes at Eaton Village received an $800,000 grant from the Missing Middle Housing Program (MMHP), which is administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The MMHP is a statewide program that provides gap financing to housing projects built for middle-class residents, its $110 million fund already fully awarded. More than a thousand new and more affordable homes will be built throughout the state once construction projects are completed.

Why it’s important: “Today marks a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to address Michigan’s housing crisis. Eaton Village will stand as an example of the innovative solutions we’re championing across the state through programs like the Missing Middle Housing Program,” says State Rep. Angela Witwer (Delta Township). “By investing in projects that will create quality, attainable housing for working families, we’re not just building homes – we’re building stronger communities and a brighter future for all Michiganders. I truly can’t wait to see the successes pioneered in Eaton Village repeated across our state.”

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