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In Hillman Village, some working-class families have a bright future as major housing developer, Habitat for Humanity, projects fifty new homes built in the next five years. “Currently, we have a major project, a five-year strategic plan. We have Habitat for Humanity, Northeast Michigan joined with the village of Hillman to develop nineteen and a half acres into affordable housing. We’re talking as much as 50 to 60 homes over the next five years,” Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan, Ted Fines Said.


The development will utilize modular home structures which are different than manufactured homes. They are real stick builds done in a factory then brought to the site where the finished product is then erected. “Presently, we have approximately eight to ten individuals, couples, and families that are in our pipeline for home ownership. It is a process where we get them mortgage ready.” said Fines. Michigan’s real estate market surged during the pandemic due to low interest rates. Now, with rates rising, fewer homes are for sale. But prices remain high as buyers compete for limited properties. “We lack good, affordable, attainable housing. Our housing stock is very old. The majority of our houses were built before 1975 in our county alone,” he said.



Habitat has long dealt with the wrong notion that they are simply a charity that provides free houses to people. That is not the case. They are a major home developer that focuses on building affordable and attainable housing. “We don’t give houses away. We prepare our families, our individuals, our couples to make a monthly mortgage and be able to afford homeownership.” said Fines. Without builders willing to build for the working-class budget, the housing situation will continue to strain the citizens in our area. “It’s incumbent upon us as one of the biggest housing developers in the country, Habitat for Humanity, to offer affordable housing in Alpena.