Collaborative approach to addressing affordable housing shortage garners national spotlight

There’s an affordable housing crisis across the country, but the approach being taken along the lakeshore to solve this important quality of life issue is being hailed as one of the best.
 
The Housing Next partnership is one of seven partnerships around the nation to receive the Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In coordination with the Council on Foundations, HUD announced the 2022 winners on June 23. 
 
Housing Next’s model of focusing on housing supply, housing stability, and housing subsidies with private sector investment at every price point was a highlight of the award. 
 
Hadley Streng, president of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and founding member of the partnership, says the recognition shows the power of collaboration in addressing issues such as the affordable housing crisis.
 
“We are grateful to HUD and Council on Foundations for recognizing the work of Housing Next,” Streng says. “The collaboration of many public, private, and philanthropic partners is what allowed Housing Next to focus on addressing our region’s housing problem, and we look forward to continued efforts with additional partners. Considerable work has been done over the last five years, and there is even more of a need for additional emphasis now than there was when Housing Next formed.”
 
The power of partnership

The partnership was key to a first-of-its-kind development to address the shortage of workforce housing in Grand Haven. Dubbed Robinson Landing, the neighborhood north of the Grand Haven Memorial Airport is a development of 30 single-family homes that will address a housing need by offering new homes priced from about $140,000 to $280,000.

It's one of many new affordable housing projects in the pipeline. 
 
The awards recognize the partnership process and its impact as a community strategy to improve the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across all American geographies – urban, suburban, and rural.
 
The Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships spotlights excellence in partnerships that have both transformed the relationships between the public and philanthropic sectors and led to measurable benefits in housing and community development, including increased economic development, health, safety, education, workforce development, disaster resilience, inclusivity and cultural opportunities, innovative regional approaches, and housing access for low- and moderate-income families.
 
“This year’s awardees represent the great diversity of our nation and the tremendous need that exists in communities in every corner of our society,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge says.
 
The award recognized the partners who founded Housing Next and have had a hand in its success over the past five years in Ottawa County as well as the new partnerships that led to the recent expansion of Housing Next as a regional partnership. Partners included the Housing Next Leadership Council Partners: 
  • The Chamber – Grand Haven, Spring Lake & Ferrysburg
  • Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland Area
  • Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
  • Lakeshore Advantage
  • Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance
  • Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce
  • Ottawa County, United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties
  • City of Grand Haven
  • City of Holland
  • City of Hudsonville
  • Grand Haven Area Community Land Trust
  • Grand Haven Charter Township
  • Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation
  • Haworth Inc.
  • Holland Township
  • Matthew and Jennifer Haworth
  • Michigan Community Capital
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Michigan Land Bank Authority
  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority
  • Ottawa County Housing Commission
  • Village of Spring Lake
 
Working together, these partners gave Housing Next the resources to support local communities in understanding how to use state and federal housing programs proved successful in Ottawa County, sparking a 900% increase in investment and housing production for low- and moderate-income households using the tax credit program. 
 
Expanding into Kent County
 
Through partnership with the Grand Rapids Area Chamber Foundation, the partnership expanded in March of this year to serve both Ottawa and Kent counties. 
 
“We are beyond thankful for the collaborations that have set the foundation for Housing Next and its continued impact as a regional partnership,” says Brooke Oosterman, director of policy and communications for Housing Next. “We are proud to have a model that serves to support housing at all price points through cross-sector partnerships and look forward to the work we as a region will do together. 
 
“The partnership created here in West Michigan offers hope for the future, an opportunity for policy reform that allows for smaller lot sizes and higher density to serve our growing population, and to move us meaningfully forward in the creation of the 37,000 new housing units needed in the two-county region by 2025.”