On Wednesday, June 5, Habitat for Humanity will join Haley Ball and her family to dedicate the land where their new home be built at the New Waves site on the corner of M-72 and Bugai Road in Elmwood Township. Ball is a single mother of two, with a daughter in elementary school and a preschooler. In 2022, their small family needed to very quickly transition from their family home to a safe and stable environment.

Peninsula Housing invites the public to participate in a workshop to explore housing options for 980 S Herman Road and 339 South St. Mary’s Street. A public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 2, from 6-7:30 pm at the Suttons Bay / Bingham Fire Station Community Room (201 South St. Mary’s Avenue in Suttons Bay). Peninsula Housing will present options for housing and amenities on two sites and community members will have opportunities to share their ideas.

Peninsula Housing announced this weekend that the affordable housing nonprofit is excited to welcome John and Kelly Kehl as new homeowners of an affordable home in the village of Northport. The Leelanau natives are grateful for the community of support that made this possible, and Kelly stated in a press release, “We were the first applicants to reach the finish line through this program, and I can’t wait to show others it’s possible to buy a home in northern Michigan!” The Kehls purchased their home on Ransom Street for $220,000, according to Peninsula Housing founder and board president Larry Mawby.

Do you own or rent property in Benzie or Leelanau counties with extra space in your home/property? Want to make additional income to offset the cost of owning or renting your home? Sign up to host a local employee in your home via the Sleeping Bear Gateways Council’s Housing Exchange.

From the outside, it may seem surprising that a recycling company would be interested in building homes. But for Andy Gale, President of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) in Traverse City, the move makes complete sense. Not only is it an opportunity for their organization to step up the “reuse” portion of the “3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but it also enables Gale to return to his roots in construction. And, perhaps most notably, it could offer access to more affordable housing that northern Michigan desperately needs.

As the housing market in northern Michigan continues to grow more competitive, some young entrepreneurs are finding creative solutions to their housing problems. Emily Grof is the architectural associate at the firm Design Smiths in Traverse City. She is one such creative problem solver who, with the help of Facebook Marketplace and Traverse City-based tiny-home builder Levi Meeuwenberg, has come up with a small solution for herself to the looming question of where to live.

It was the year of high water, as Lake Michigan water levels nearly eclipsed their all-time record—just six years after setting their all-time low. That made beach walking difficult; it exacerbated conflicts over beach-walking rights along riparian-owned property; it made the reality of Climate Change even more dire, and it contributed to flooding in Leland’s historic Fishtown.

The ever-widening gap between the wealthy and the working class is probably the greatest cause of Leelanau County’s affordable housing crisis, says Timothy Young. We are never going to solve the housing crisis until we solve the labor pay scale.

If you have been to the Empire Village Inn in the last two years, you have likely noticed some changes. The menu has been revamped, the beer menu has expanded, and the bar has been rebuilt, all thanks to the newest general manager, Riley Scott, who was hired by owner Frank Lerchen in the fall of 2017. Scott had been working in the restaurant industry in Grand Rapids, and moved north when offered a management position to help make some changes to the establishment.

The topic of housing in Leelanau County––and the lack of affordable housing––is one that seems to come up often for those who live here. Among my peers––entrepreneurs and workers in their late-20s to early-30s––housing discussions are often filled with a bit of discouragement.