Next steps revealed for Marquette’s new affordable housing project

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 4:56 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The city-owned property at 600 W Spring St. in Marquette is one step closer to becoming an affordable housing site for low-income residents.

This is after the Marquette City Commission approved a plan by Habitat for Humanity last Monday that proposed the construction of eight single-family homes at the site.

City Manager Karen Kovacs said the next step is a property appraisal.

“Habitat will go forward with obtaining an appraisal and we go forward with negotiating that price and per our charter,” Kovacs said. “We sell property no less than 80% of its appraised value.”

If a purchase negotiation is reached, Marquette County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Deanna Johnson said construction is likely to start this summer.

“I hope to have everything wrapped up in two years. We won’t build all eight in the first year. How fast we move will depend on how fast we can get all the behind-the-scenes things done,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said the homes will be available for purchase by families within 30% to 60% of the Marquette County poverty threshold.

“It will provide eight families with very affordable housing in the city of Marquette which is almost impossible for them to come by on their own,” Johnson said.

Kovacs said the project is making the best of what is already available in the city.

“We are playing our part here in addressing affordable housing. We are really trying to make it something that can happen here instead of something that is a barrier. Our land is quite limited,” Kovacs said.

Both the city and habitat think it is a step in the right direction in addressing the ongoing housing crisis.

“Affordable housing is in crisis across the country, and we are certainly feeling that in Marquette County right now, specifically in the city. People can’t work in the city if they can’t live there,” Johnson said.

Once the project is underway, Habitat for Humanity will be looking for more volunteers. If you would like to sign up click here.