Kilpatrick comes from a background in economic development and city planning, and he will provide strategic direction to the council, advocating for greater housing choice and affordability across the region, council officials said.
As director of Ottawa Housing Next, Kilpatrick is expected to be a strong partner with the regional chambers of commerce, non-profit agencies, local municipalities and the development community to identify opportunities to increase the supply of housing at all price points and execute high-quality projects.
“Housing is a key economic issue in the region,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage and a member of the Ottawa Housing Next Leadership Council. “Without a diverse range of housing options at a reasonable price, our major employers will continue to struggle to attract talent into our communities. With Ryan in this role, we’re hopeful that we can shift the momentum so the people who work in our communities can also afford to live here.”
Kilpatrick previously worked for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and is a certified planner and economic development finance professional.
"I am inspired by the quality of work and the level of collaboration that has already been achieved by Ottawa Housing Next,” he said. “It is an honor to lead this new initiative and continue to actively address the housing needs in this region.”
Ottawa Housing Next is a cross-sector collaborative initiative involving nonprofit, government and business partners that have strived to create and promote a strong economic case for additional workforce housing units in the greater Ottawa County region. The Leadership Council of Housing Next includes the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, West Coast Chamber, Chamber of Grand Haven-Spring Lake-Ferrysburg, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Ottawa County, Lakeshore Advantage, and Community S.P.O.K.E.