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$5 Million Grant to Aid in Alpena Housing Shortage

A new housing project is coming to Alpena thanks to a grant provided through the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Target Alpena Economic Development Corporation applied for the grant for developers and received $5 million for the project. The new facility will be built where the old Habitat for Humanity was located before it burned down three years ago. The building will be a mixed-use facility with apartments on the second floor and businesses on the ground.

For Economic development Director Mike Mahler, who spearheaded the grant application, it’s an exciting announcement and it’s a step in the right direction for addressing the housing shortage in the area. “They’re going to be kind of targeting the 80 percent of the local AMI in terms of rent,” he said. “They’ll be reasonably affordable for anyone in the community. So it’s nice and something we sorely need. It’s not just Alpena, it’s all over Michigan.”

There will be 15 apartment units and while it won’t immediately solve the housing situation, it’s one step towards also addressing the worker shortage for downtown businesses. “I know that there’s been companies here that have offered positions to people outside of the area and the reason they say no is because they can’t find a house close enough to the jobs they’re being offered,” said Mahler. “It’s just a cold reality of our situation up here.”

The building is expected to ready to go in approximately two years.