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The Target Alpena Development Corporation announced their new plan to build 5,000 new housing units throughout the region. However, Lenny Avery, the Economic Development Coordinator and the Northeast Michigan Housing Alliance has hit a crucial part in the next step, your input helping shape the regional housing plan.

Lenny said, “Our region has been kind of behind the 8–ball a little bit and lagging in development. Our income is lagging behind state averages, our home values are lagging behind state averages.” He also adds, “So, this public virtual meeting is a culmination of the revealing of the plan that we developed. It is a draft plan which means it is a living plan.”

Lenny once again stated that the Regional Housing Plan isn’t just specific to one area. The plan is designed to further develop the Northeast Michigan region, which includes all 11 Northeast Michigan counties, while still keeping the small town charm and the natural resources that surround our area. Lenny states this meeting is crucial in shaping how you want your area to develop for the future and he also provided insight as to who will be on the panel.

He said, “Our panelist range from developers, to bankers, to the Executive Director of MSHDA, to local county officials. We have a very diverse panel from all over our region, you know that’s being represented. Some of the people on the panel are members of this Northeast Michigan Housing Alliance.”

To find the link to the Zoom virtual town hall meeting you can go on Facebook and search “NEMHA Plan” and click on the registration link. You can also go to the Alpena Chamber site and click on Northeast Michigan Housing Alliance and all the information will be there as well.

Lenny also adds, “We also have a community engagement survey, so if you cannot attend the virtual conference we still want your feedback. People participate in a world they help create. We want people to help us create this vision. This is not a top down authoritative vision from the government or Lansing. We want us to work together to develop from us to develop the chances and opportunities.”

Another strong message Lenny has for the communities is that this Regional Housing Plan also includes the ideas of making the Northeast region attractive to businesses to increase job opportunities for people who live in the Northeast region of Michigan.