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City of Charlevoix Establishes First Area Housing Conservancy

Housing North-logoHousing North has launched a new program to preserve and expand year-round housing opportunities – and has implemented its first project in the program, in partnership with the City of Charlevoix and local funders. In Charlevoix, workers struggle to find year-round housing, and as a result, businesses then struggle to find workers. Housing North and the City of Charlevoix have been exploring new tools to meet this need by providing for a local “housing conservancy” program here. The new program provides funding for people to voluntarily record a deed restriction on an existing or newly purchased residential property that will permanently assure long-term resident housing.

The program had its first application in April 2020, with the rezoning and purchase of a former church in the City of Charlevoix. A local donor provided funds to the program through the Charlevoix Community Foundation, enabling Housing North to purchase a deed restriction as part of the real estate transaction. As the first property in the program, with the opportunity for two additional units to be added to the property, the project demonstrates the potential for the program to incentivize the creation of new long-term housing units.

Housing North will look to work with the City of Charlevoix and other communities to expand the program to meet diverse housing needs specific to each community, using this and, potentially, additional emerging conservancy-based models.

For more information on this program and other programs to ensure quality homes for everyone, please visit the Housing North resources online at homesforourfuture.org or call Steve Schnell, Charlevoix County’s Housing Ready Program Director with Housing North at 231-330-7070 or steve@housingnorth.org.

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