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Affordable housing topic of Saturday's April Inspire! event

• Apr 20, 2018 at 3:31 PM

A growing issue across the United States — the lack of affordable housing — is taking a serious toll on low-income families.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable housing as “one a household can obtain for 30 percent or less of its annual income.”

Between 2010 and 2016, the number of apartments Freddie Mac deemed to be affordable by low-income families dropped more than 60 percent. Freddie Mac says a householder in Michigan must earn $16.24 an hour (40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year) to afford Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home without paying more than 30 percent of income.

About 12 million renter and homeowner households pay more than 50 percent of their annual income for housing, HUD says. That means a family with one full-time worker earning minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.

Because affordable housing is a serious issue in the Tri-Cities, it will be the discussion topic for the Saturday, April 21 Inspire! event sponsored by Extended Grace.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Momentum Center for Social Engagement, 714 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven, and includes lunch underwritten by Righteous Barbecue and Grant-Williams Mediation, Coaching, Consulting.

The event is free and open to the public.

Discussion panelists include Jessica Garza, Community Action House; Beth Hanis, Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity; Josh Brugger, City of Grand Haven; Liz Keegan, Fair Housing Center of West Michigan; Ryan Kilpatrick, Ottawa Housing Next; and Rhonda Kleyn, Neighborhood Housing Services.

Barbara Lee Van Horssen, Extended Grace executive director, will facilitate the discussion.

In addition to discussion, lunch and music, a $500 Mudita Gift provided by Rendezvous Restaurant will be awarded at the event.

For more information, visit extendedgrace.org or call (616) 414-9111.

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